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The Neqro: 



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I His Rights and Wrongs, | ] 

I The Forces For Him and Against Him. | \ 



BY 



Rev* Francis J* Grimke^ D*, 

Washington, D. C, 



I Right is right, since God is God, | \ 
I And Right the day must win/^ | ^ 

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THE NEGRO: 
His Rights and Wrongs, 

The Forces For Him and Against Him* 

BY 

Rev. Francis J. Qrimke, D. D. 

Washington, D. C. 



'» Right is right, since God is God, 
And right the day must win." 



**SIow are the steps of Freedom, but her feet 
Turn never backward." 



«^ Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet 
'tis Truth alone is strong." 



** They enslave their children's children 
who make compromise with sin." 



CONTENTS: 



Page 

Sermon I. Discouragements. Hostility of 
the Press. Silence and 
Cowardice of the Pulpit, 
Etc. .1 

Sermon II. Sources from which no help 
may be expected, — the gen- 
eral government, political 
parties, Etc 25 

Sermon III. Signs of a brighter future... 48 

Sermon IV. God and Prayer- as Factors in • 

the struggle 72 



These sermons were delivered in the Fifteenth Street 
Presbyterian Church, Washington, D. C, November 20th 
and 27th, and December 4th and nth. They are published 
by request, and are sent forth in the hope that they may 
be blessed of God to the good of both races. 



germon L 



Discouragements. Hostility of the Press* 
Silence and Cowardice of the Pulpit, Eta 

*'Wait on tbe Lord; be of good t:ourag'e, and He shall 
strengthen thine heart." — Psalm 27:14. 

T^ESPONDENCY is a state of mind in which all 



fccl 4 » g- seems to be lost — a feeling of dis- 



couragement, the disposition to give up, to 
cease to struggle. Such a state as Elijah fell into 
towards the close of his remarkable and stormy life. 
There is no more pathetically sad picture in the 
whole Word of God than that in which, the prophet 
is seen in the wilderness sitting under a juniper 
tree — the very picture of despair. For years he 
had labored hard for the reformation of his coun- 
trymen. He saw the people rushing headlong into 
idolatry and every form of wickedness, and under 
the direction and inspiration of the Almighty, he 
threw himself with all the energy and impetuos- 
ity of his nature into the work of reforming them. 
Like all reformers, however, he met with opposi- 
tion and indifference. But he kept pegging away, 
until at last success seemed about to crown his 
efforts. A great meeting was arranged to be held 




2 



at Mount Carmel, in which the point at issne was 
to be decided^ and which resulted in favor of 
Elijah. I'he fire which fell from heaven, and 
which consumed the burnt offering and the wood 
and the dust, and licked up the water that was in 
the trench, attested the divine approval of Elijah's 
course, and the power and superiority of Elijah's 
God, It was so interpreted by the people. The 
cry which it elicited from them was The Lord, 
He is the God, the Lord, He is the God." The pro- 
phets of Baal, some four hundred, were slain with- 
out opposition from the people : and even the king 
seemed to have acquiesced in the victory at Car- 
mel. Just as the prophet was congratulating 
himself, however, over the triumph of the right, 
his hopes were all blasted, and he was forced to 
flee for his life. The record is, And Ahab told 
Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how 
he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 
Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, 
So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make 
not thy life as the life of one of them by to-mor- 
row by this time. And when he saw that, he arose 
and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, 
which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant 
there. But he himself went a day's journey into 
the wilderness, and came and sat down under a 
juniper tree : and he requested for himself that he 
might die ; and said. It is enough ; O Lord, take 
away my life ; for I am no better than my fathers." 



5 



This wail of despair is again heard at the Mount 
<of God, ''And as he lay and sl^ept Xinder a juniper 
tree, behold, then an ang^l touched him, and said 
unto him^ Arise and eat. And h-e looked, and 
behold, there was a cake baked on the coals, and a 
cruse of water at his h-ead. And h-e did «-at and 
■drink, and laid him down again. And the -angel 
of the Lord came again the second time, and 
touched him, and said, Arise and eat ; because the 
journey is too great for thee. And he arose and 
■did eat and drink, and went in the strength of 
that meat forty days and forty nights, unto Horeb, 
the Mount of God. And he came thither into a 
cave, and lodged there. And, behold, the word of 
the Lord came unto him, and said unto him, what 
doest thou here, Elijah ? And he said, I have been 
very jealous for the Lord God of hosts, for the 
children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, 
thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets 
with the sword ; and I, even I only, am left ; and 
they seek my life to take it away." Elijah felt 
that if the three years and a half of famine, and 
the extraordinary and overpowering scenes which 
had been so recently witnessed at Carmel did not 
soften the hearts of the people and the rulers, and 
lead them to repent of their sins and do better, 
nothing would : and therefore, that it was vain to 
continue the struggle longer. '*It is enough, O 
Lord, It is enough." That is, there is no use of 
trying any longer. The picture presented here 



4 



becomes still more striking when we remember 
the sturdy character of the ma.n of whom we are 
speaking. He was no reed shaken by the wind, 
no weakling ; but a man of great strength of 
character, and of remarkable courage. He was 
not afraid to confront Ahab, though he knew he 
had been in search of him everywhere, with 
the murderous intent of putting him to death. 
Nor was he afraid when he met him to speak 
plainly and in terms to rebuke, I have not 
troubled Israel, but thou and thy father's house, 
in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the 
Lord, and thou hast followed Baal." And yet, it 
is this grand old warrior, this man of a hundred 
battles, this man who was a host in himself, and 
whose presence is symbolized by chariots and 
horses of fire, in the scene where he is translated, 
w^ho sinks into despair, who is overwhelmed by 
the seemnngly insurmountable obstacles with 
which he is confronted. 

Closes, also came very near sinking into a simi- 
lar state, if indeed he did not actually fall into it, 
under the crushing weight of solemn responsibili- 
ties which rested upon him as the divinely appoint- 
ed leader of the people in their exodus from 
Egypt. It was a tremendous responsibility to lead 
two millions of people out of bondage, especially 
in the condition in which the Israelites were — 
ignorant, besotted, with little appreciation of the 
blessings of freedom, who cared more for the 



5 

fleshpots of Egypt than they did for liberty, for 
independence. The result was, before they had 
gone very far trouble began ; they began to mur- 
mur, to find fault, to regret that they were ever 
disturbed in their Egyptian homes, where they 
had plenty to eat and drink, and which seemed a 
paradise to them compared to the experiences 
through which they were then passing. The re- 
cord is, "And the mixed multitude that w^as 
among them fell a-lusting : and the children of 
Israel also wept again, and said. Who will give us 
flesh to eat ? We rem^ember the fish, which we did 
eat in Egypt freely ; the cucumbers, and the 
melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the gar- 
lic : but now our soul is dried away — there is 
nothing at all besides this manna, before our eyes. 
Then Moses heard the. people weep throughout 
their families, every man in the door of his tent : 
And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast 
thou afflicted thy servant ? And wherefore have I 
not found favor in thy sight, that thou layest the 
burden of all th^s people upon me ? Have I con- 
ceived all this people ? have I begotten them, that 
thou shouldst say unto me. Carry them in thy 
bosom as a nursing father beareth the suckling 
child, unto the land which thou swearest unto 
their fathers ? Whence should I have flesh to 
give unto all this people ? for they weep unto me, 
saying. Give us flesh that we may eat. I am not 
able to bear all this people alone, because it is too 



6 

heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, 
kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found 
favor in thy fight ; and let me not see my wretch- 
edness." Here is also the wail of a soul on the 
verge of despair. Like Elijah his cry also is, It i§ 
enough, take away my life. David also knew 
what it was to be depressed. In the forty-second 
psalm, and fifth verse, we read, " Why art thou 
cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted 
within me?" And again, "O my God my soul is 
cast down within me." And, into this frame of 
mind, we are all liable to fall at times ; doubtless 
some of us already know from sad experience 
what it is to be dejected, cast down, despondent. 

I have touched upon this subject this morning 
because as a people, I am afraid, there is danger, 
in view of the terrible ordeal through which we 
are now passing, and have been passing for some 
time, of losing heart; of coming to feel as 
Elijah did. It is enough : there is no use of con- 
tinuing the struggle. 

The way is certainly very ^ark. There are 
many things to discourage us ; but there is a 
brighter side to the picture, and it is of this side 
that I desire especially to speak. Before doing so, 
however, it may be well for us to notice in passing 
some of the things which seem to indicate the ap- 
proach of a still deeper darkness. 

And first, lawlessness is increasing in the South. 
After thirty-three years of freedom, our civil and 



7 



political rights are still denied us ; the Fourteenth 
and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution are 
still a dead letter. The spirit of opposition, of 
oppression, of injustice is not diminishing but in- 
creasing. The determination to keep us in a state 
of civil and political inferiority and to surround 
us with such conditions as will tend to crush out 
of us a manly and self-respecting spirit is stronger 
now than it was at the close of the war. The fixed 
purpose and determination of the Southern whites 
is to negative these great amendments, to elimi- 
nate entirely the Negro as a political factor. And 
this purpose is intensifying, is growing stronger 
and stronger each year. The sentiment every- 
where is : This is a white man's government. And 
that means, not only that the whites shall rule, but 
that the Negro shall have nothing whatever to do 
with governmental affairs. If he dares to think 
otherwise, or aspires to cast a ballot, or to become 
anything more than a servant, he is regarded as 
an impudent and dangerous Negro ; and according 
to the most recent declaration of that old slave- 
holding and lawless spirit, all such Negroes are to 
be driven out of the South, or compelled by force, 
by what is known as the shot-gun policy, to re- 
nounce their rights as men and as American 
citizens. 

This is certainly a very discouraging condi- 
tion of things, but the saddest aspect of it all is, 
that there are members of our own race — and not 



8 



the ignorant, unthinking masses, who have had no 
advantages, and who might be excused for any 
seeming insensibility to their rights, but the in- 
telligent, the educated — who are found condoning 
such offenses, justifying or excusing such a con- 
dition of things, on the ground — that in view of 
the great disparity in the condition of the two 
races, anything different from that could not 
reasonably be expected. Any Negro who takes 
that position is a traitor to his race, and shows 
that he is deficient in manhood, in true self-respect. 
If the time ever comes when the Negro himself 
acquiesces in that condition of things then his fate 
is sealed, and ought to be sealed. Such a race is 
not fit to be free. But thank God the cowardly, 
ignoble sentiment to which I have just alluded, 
while it may find lodgment in the breast of a few 
weak-kneed, time serving Negroes, is not the sen- 
timent of this black race. No, and never will be. 
During all these terrible years of suffering and 
oppression, these years of blood and tears, the 
Negro has been shot at, his property destroyed, his 
family scattered, his home broken up ; he has been 
forced to fly like the fugitive for his life before the 
hungry bloodhounds of Southern democracy ; 
everything has been done to terrorize him, to keep 
him from the polls. In some cases he has stayed 
away ; in others he has gone straightforward in 
the face of the bullets of the enemy and has been 
shot down. Hundreds of the men of our race 



9 



have laid their lives down on Southern soil in vin- 
dication of their rights as American citizens. 
And shall we be told, and by black men, too, that 
the sacred cause for which they poured out their 
life's blood is to be relinquished, that the white 
ruffians who shot them down were justified, that 
in view of all the circumstances it was just what 
was to have been expected, and therefore that virt- 
ually we have no reasonable ground of complaint? 
Away with such treasonable utterances — treason to 
God, treason to man, treason to free institutions, 
treason to the spirit of an enlightened and Chris- 
tian sentiment. The Negro is an American citi- 
zen, and he never will be eliminated as a political 
factor with his consent. He has been terrorized 
and kept from the polls by bloody ruffians ; but he 
has never felt that it was right ; has never acqui- 
esced in it, and never will. As long as he lives, 
as long as there is one manly, self-respecting 
Negro in this country, the agitation will go on, 
will never cease until right is triumphant. It is 
one thing to compel the Negro by force to stay 
away from the polls ; it is a very different thing 
for the Negro, himself freely, of his own accord, 
to relinquish his political rights. The one he may 
be constrained to do : the other he will not do. 

Another discouraging circumstance is to be 
found in the fact, that the white people of the 
North, to a very large extent, are either indiffer- 
ent to these wrongs or are in sympathy with them. 



lO 



Many of those who were once our best friends, 
who stood by us during the great struggle for free- 
dom, before and immediately after the war, are 
now on the other side. The Negro-hating spirit of 
the South has diffused itself all over the North. 
Even the children of the old abolitionists have 
been won over to a large extent, and are now found 
among our detractors, and the apologists for South- 
ern outrages. Everywhere under this baleful 
Southern influence, there is a growing contempt 
for the Negro, and a growing disposition to regard 
him as an alien, to make him feel that he is not 
wanted. Even in our institutions of learning, the 
children of white professors, who earn their living 
by teaching colored pupils, are sometimes found 
avoiding him and looking contemptuously upon 
him. 

Another discouragingcircumstance is to be found 
in the fact that the press of the country is against 
us, with a few honorable exceptions. And when 
we- remember what the power of the press is, we 
can see just what that means, how much more 
difficult it becomes for us to make any headway, or 
to create a favorable impression. The good that 
the Negro does as a general thing is passed over in 
silence, or is but slightly noticed, or when noticed 
is pushed off in some obscure corner where it will 
not be likely to attract attention, while the evil 
that he does, or is supposed to do — the evil that is 
laid to his charge, often without any foundation in 



1 1 

fact, often resting upon a bare suspicion — is given 
the most prominent place, and set forth in glaring 
head lines, the whole purpose being to create a 
sentiment against him, to render him contempt- 
ible in the eyes of the country. Its attitude to- 
wards the Negro is that of the Pharisee to the 
publican, in the parable of the Pharisee and the 
publican. It is all the time saying, See how supe- 
rior we white people are, and how mean and des- 
picable these Negroes are. And it does it, I say^ 
for the purpose of discrediting the Negro. There 
is no disposition on the part of the press, to give 
the Negro a hearing, or to mete out justice to him. 
Even when he comes forward in his own defense, 
it is with difficulty that he can get a hearing, 
The simple fact is, the Negro is unpopular, and 
as the press lives by pandering to popular taste^ 
it seeks to dress the Negro up in a way that will 
meet this demand, or that will harmonize with 
this sentiment. So that as long as public senti- 
ment is what it is, we may expect to be misrepre- 
sented and villified in the public journals. It is a 
popular thing to be down on the Negro, and the 
press is bound to be on the popular side — the relig- 
ious press as well as the secular press : for the 
Negro fares as badly at the hands of the one as the 
other. 

Another discouraging circumstance is to be 
found in the fact that the pulpits of the land are 
silent on these great wrongs. There are nearly a 



12 



hundred thousand white ministers in this coun- 
try. According to their own profession, they are 
God's representatives: and the function of the min- 
istry, as set forth in God's Word, is to cry aloud 
and spare not, is to lift up a standard for the peo- 
ple. And yet, as a matter of fact, it is the rarest 
thing in the world to hear a word from these pul- 
pits against the terrible crimes which are being 
perpetrated in this land against the Negro. 
Whether this is the result of cowardice — the fear 
of offending those to whom they minister, and 
upon whom they are dependent for their bread and 
butter — or whether it is because they see nothing 
to condemn, think the Negro is receiving just 
what he deserves ; or whether it is the result of in- 
difference* I do not know. I simply note the fact. 
This much may be said, however, they are not silent 
on other matters. We hear a great deal from these 
same pulpits about the Liquor Traffic, about gamb- 
ling, about Sabbath desecration, about the suffering 
Armenians. When the question of suppressing 
polygamy in Utah was up, they had a great deal to 
say. When the question was up about suppressing 
the Louisiana Lottery they also had a great deal to 
say, and many of them rang out in eloquent appeals 
in favor of wiping out that great gambling scheme, 
which had done so much to debauch the people. 
And when the question was raised about opening 
the Columbian Exposition on the Sabbath, what a 
tremendous furor it created in these pulpits; the 



13 



whole land echoed and reechoed with the sound of 
clerical voices, with the thunders which proceeded 
from these lofty watch-towers on the walls of Zion. 
But when it comes to Southern brutality, to the 
killing of Negroes, and the despoiling them of 
their civil and political rights, they are — to borrow 
an expression from the prophet Isaiah — *'dumb 
dogs that cannot bark." And they are dumb not 
because they are ignorant of the actual condition 
of things. Ministers are men of intelligence. 
They take the papers. They read the news — they 
are more careful to do that, often, than they are to 
read their Bible. They are, as a class, well informed ; 
they know what is going on about them. And yet, 
as a general thing, not a word is ever uttered by 
them, either in their sermons or in their prayers, 
that would lead any one not acquainted with the 
facts, to suppose that there was anything wrong 
in the treatment which we are receiving in this 
country. Read the sermons that are published in 
the daily and weekly papers, and in the homileti- 
cal magazines, by the great lights of the pulpit, and 
very rarely will you find any reference to the sub- 
ject, or anything said that would tend to create a 
sentiment inimical to such outrages. Some years 
ago, the M. E. Church at its General Conference 
passed a series of resolutions condemning these 
outrages : and the Presbyterian General Assem- 
bly did the same — some of the churches haven't 
done even as much as that; but we have heard 



nothing- of these resolutions since. There is no 
evidence that the men who advocated them and 
voted for them ever did anything from their pul- 
pits, or in their respective spheres of influence, to 
arouse the public conscience in reference to these 
wrongs, with a view of righting- them. The fact 
that these terrible outrages continue in the South, 
that lawlessness is increasing instead of dimin- 
ishing, that the spirit of bitterness against the 
Negro is more pronounced and violent now than 
• ever before, — notwithstanding there are hundreds 
and thousands of ministers in that land of blood 
preaching Sabbath after Sabbath to these very 
people, who are either directly guilty of these 
crimes, or who by their silent acquiescence encour- 
age them, is proof positive that the Southern pul- 
pit, at least, has been recreant to duty, false to the 
God whom it professes to represent. And the fact 
that the North looks on in silence, sees these 
wrongs without vigorously protesting against 
them, is proof positive that the Northern pulpit is 
equally recreant to duty, equally false to the high 
trust which has been committed to it as the mouth- 
piece of God. The power for good of a hundred 
thousand men of the intelligence and social stand- 
ing and influence of these ministers, representing 
as they do a constituency of fully twenty millions 
of professing Christians, and an equally large con- 
stituency of non-professing and congregational 
members, cannot be overestimated when properly 



15 



exercised. This I feel has not been done. If these 
hundred thousand men had done their part, had 
taken the pains to set clearly before the people 
their duty in this matter, as defined in God's Word, 
and as required by the principle of right, of 
justice, which makes it obligatory upon us to ren- 
der to every man his due, to do by others as we 
would be done by, and to love our neighbor as our- 
selves, the prospect before both races would be 
very much brighter than it is to-day. The South- 
ern savages who have been sinking lower and 
lower during these years in barbarism, would by 
this time have become somewhat civilized, and the 
poor Negro, instead of being hunted down like a 
wild beast, terrorized by a pack of brutes, would 
be living amicably by the side of his white fellow- 
citizens, if not in the full enjoyment of all of his 
rights, with at least a fair prospect of having 
them all recognized. The white pulpits of the 
land are largely responsible for the continuance 
of this unfortunate condition of affairs. Their 
silence as the representatives of religion, as the 
highest exponents of morality, and as a class of 
men, especially set apart for the defense of the 
faith, and for all that that faith implies and re- 
quires in the way of righteousness and truth, of 
justice and humanity, is a tacit admission on their 
part that these outbreaks of lawlessness, these in- 
sults and indignities that are heaped upon the 
Negro, and because he is a Negro, are right — that 



i6 



they see nothing in them to condemn, nothing in- 
consistent with the religion which they profess : 
or else, that though they see these things to be 
wrong, they are afraid to lift up their voices 
against them. In either case, whether their 
silence is the result of cowardice, or of blunted 
moral sensibility, it has operated equally against 
us. This is the charge I make against the Anglo- 
American pulpit to-day. Its silence has been inter- 
preted as an approval of these horrible outrages. 
Bad men have been encouraged to continue in 
their acts of lawlessness and brutality. As long 
as the pulpits are silent on these wrongs, it is in 
vain to expect the people to do any better than 
they are doing. It would be a good thing if we 
could have a day of special prayer for the pulpits 
of our land. North as well as South ; that God 
would put into them a little more backbone and 
strength of character and conscientiousness ; that 
he would fill them with men who love righteous- 
ness and hate iniquity; men who are not afraid to 
do their duty, or to suffer, if need be, in the cause 
of truth and justice. A cowardly ministry is a 
curse to any nation, and always makes it harder, 
more difficult, for the oppressed to overcome op- 
pression. If therefore, as a people we have any 
power with God, there ought to be a special effort 
made to bring that power to bear upon the weak- 
ness and cowardice of the American pulpit. You 
remember how it was with Peter. He was afraid 



17 



even to acknowledge that he knew] esus — afraid lest 
some evil should befall him, lest he should be perse- 
cuted, thrown in prison, or put to death. But after 
the day of Pentecost, when the spirit like a rushing 
mighty wind came upon him, all fear vanished. 
He was not afraid to face the chief priests and the 
elders, the scribes and the Pharisees, and all the 
allied forces of the enemy. He stood before them 
undaunted, and met their threats of violence with 
the declaration, We ought to obey God rather 
than man, We will obey him, come what wnll." 
And this is the spirit we need to-day in the 
American pulpit. We need a living ministry — a 
ministry endued with power from on high, bap- 
tized with the Holy Ghost — a ministry that knows 
no fear, but the fear of God. With such a min- 
istry, with such men filling the pulpits of our 
land, in a decade there would be a revolution in 
public sentiment. This terrible fioodtide of in- 
iquity, this deluge of crime, of violence, of law- 
lessness against the Negro would be arrested. 
The trouble is, even in the churches over which 
these ministers preside, which should be holy 
ground, where no man should be known by the 
color of his skin, prejudice is often the strongest. 
And for this, the ministry is in a large measure 
responsible. It is due, or at least, its continuence 
is due, in nine cases out of ten, to ministerial un- 
faithfulness. Let us pray earnestly therefore, 
that this source of power — for the ministry is a 



i8 



source of power, and of great power — may be 
purified and quickened, and be made to do the 
work which God intended it to do, in leading, 
directing, and moulding public sentiment in the 
interest of truth, justice and humanity. 

Joseph Parker, the great London preacher, in his 
People's Bible, which is designed to be a popular 
exposition of God's Word, speaks w^ith great clear- 
ness of the true function of the ministry in regard 
to wrongs of every description, and denounces in 
the strongest terms the cowardly, time-serving 
preacher. "Moses, he says, "saw that the con- 
ditions of life had a moral basis ; in every quarrel, 
as between right and wrong, he had a share, be- 
cause every honorable-minded man is a trustee of 
social justice and common fair play. We have 
nothing to do with the petty quarrels which fret 
society, but we certainly have to do with every 
controversy, social, imperial, or international, 
which violates human right, and impairs the claim 
of Divine honor. We must all fight for the right : 
we feel safer by so much as we know that there 
are amongst us men who will not be silent in the 
presence of wrong, and will lift up a testimony in 
the name of righteousness, though there be none 
to cheer them with one word of encouragement." 
Again he says, "the trumpets were to be sounded 
by the priests. The priests are not likely to sound 
many trumpets to-day. Ministers have been 
snubbed and silenced into an awful acquiescence 



with the stronger party. The pulpit should-be a 
tower of strength to every weak cause. Women 
should hasten to the church, saying— Our cause 
will be upheld there. Homeless little chil- 
dren should speed to the sanctuary, saying, We 
will be welcomed there. Slaves running away 
should open the church door with certainty of 
hospitality, saying, The man who stands up in 
that tower will forbid the tyrant to reclaim me, or 
the oppressor to smite* me with one blovN\ It was 
God's ordination that the trumpet should be 
sounded by the priests — interpreting that name 
properly, by the teachers of religion, by the man 
of prayer, by the preachers of great and 
solemn doctrines ; they are to sound the trumpet, 
whether it be a call to festival or to battle. 
We dare not do so now, because now we have 
house-rent to pay, and firing to find, and children 
to educate, and customs to obey. Were we clothed 
in sackcloth, or with camel's hair, and could we 
find food enough in the wilderness, were the 
locust and the honey sufficient for our natural appe- 
tites, we might beard many a tyrant, and decline 
many an invitation, and repel many an imperti- 
nent censor : but we must consider our w^ays, and 
balance our sentences, and remember that we are 
speaking in the ears of various representatives of 
public opinion and individual conviction. The ' 
pulpit has gone down. It has kept its form and 
lost its power ; its voice is a mumbling tone, not a 



20 

great trumpet blast that creates a space for it- 
self, and is heard above the hurtling storm and 
the rush of hasteful and selfish merchandise. 
Were ministers to become the trumpeters of 
society again, what an awakening there would be 
in the nation. Were every Sabbath day to be de- 
voted to the tearing down of some monster evil — 
were the sanctuary dedicated to the denunciation, — 
not of the vulgar crimes which everybody con- 
demns, but the subtle and unnamed crimes which 
everybody practices. — the blast of the trumpet 
would tear the temple walls in twain. We live in 
milder times— we are milder people : we wish for 
restfulness. The priests wish to have it so also — 
like priest, like people. The man who comes with 
a trumpet of festival will be welcomed; the man 
who sounds an alarm will be run away from by 
dyspeptic hearers, by bilious supporters, and by 
men who wish to be let alone." 

And still again, he says, ''The man who sells his 
principles, who keeps quiet in critical times, lest 
he should bring himself into difficulty, or sub- 
ject his business to loss — it shall be more tolera- 
ble for the heathen man in the day of judgment 
than for that Christian traitor. Every day w^e are 
selling Christ, every day we are crucifying the 
Son of God afresh, and putting him to open shame; 
and yet at a missionary meeting how some men 
gather themselves together and chuckle with pious 
hypocrisy over the poor deluded idolator who part- 



21 



ed with his stone God for gold. Men do not think 
of these things. When you smothered yonr con- 
victions, you sold your God. When, instead of 
standing square up, and saying, I will not, that 
you might save your situation, or your family from 
starvation, you bartered your God for gold. I can- 
not sit quietly and hear the heathen laughed at 
because they take off their little rosaries and sell 
them for money. They know no better. That very 
parting with the rosary may be a step in the up- 
ward direction, when the whole solution is before 
us. But as for us, to be dumb in the presence of 
evil, to turn away lest we should bring ourselves 
into'scrapes and difficulties because of standingup 
for the oppressed, — for us to smooth down the ac- 
cusation of Christianity by saying that the church 
we go to is the most respectable in the neighbor- 
hood, — that is a lying which the blood of Christ 
itself may hardly be able to expunge." And this is 
the gospel, — the gospel of uncompromising fidelity 
to the right, — regardless of consequences, that is 
most needed in the American pulpit to-day. 

But this is not the saddest and most discouraging 
aspect of the problem, viewed in the light of the 
attitude of the pulpit toward it. Its silence is bad 
enough, but when it is found, as it is at times, 
breaking that silence, only to apologize for and to 
condone these^outrages, it makes the burden which 
this poor race has to bear all the harder, and in- 
creases the difficulties in the way of a rightful 



22 



solution of this problem. Some years ago, you 
will remember, no less a man than Bishop Fitz- 
gerald of the Southern Methodist Church, came 
forward as an apologist for Southern barbarism.. 
And now in the face of the awful, the unspeak- 
able crimes that were committed at Wilmington, 
N. C, where Xegroes were terrorized, driven from 
their homes, shot down, murdered, their property 
destroyed ; where the governmient was forcibly 
wrested from the hands of the lawfully constitu- 
ted authority by a band of lawless murderers and 
ruffians, it is a representative of the pulpit, in the 
person of the Rev. Dr. Peyton H. Hoge, who 
comes forward as the apologist. The Sunday after 
these bloody murders were committed, after this 
carnival of death, after these white fiends had 
been turned loose upon the community, and had 
trampled under their feet, the ballot, free speech, 
the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happi- 
ness — every interest that was sacred to man — when 
we had a right to expect every pulpit, not only in 
that city but throughout the land, to thunder 
and lighten against the hideous wrong, this man 
stood up in the sacred desk, on the Lord's day, and 
commended the white people for ''their gallant 
conduct in redeeming the city for civilization, law, 
order, decency and respectability;" and congrat- 
ulated them upon the fact that "their homes re- 
mained in peace, and their wives and daughters 
were free from insult." He also justified the de- 



23 



struction of the Negro Daily Record Office, ''as a 
stern necessity to teach the Negro a lesson for the 
good name of the wives and daughters of white 
men." 

It is just such whited sepulchres, such hypo- 
crites in the pulpit, that have always stood in the 
way of progress, and that have brought the relig- 
ion of Christ into contempt. It was just such hypo- 
crites which Jesus had in mind when he uttered 
those awful words of denunciation in the twenty- 
third chapter of Matthew: — " Woe unto you, scribes 
and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye shut up the king- 
dom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in 
yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are enter- 
inof to ofo in. Woe unto vou, scribes and Phari- 
sees, hypocrites: for ye compass sea and land to 
make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make 
him twofold more the child of hell than your- 
selves. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, 
hypocrites: for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and 
cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters 
of the law, — judgment, mercy, and faith: these 
ought ye to have done and not to leave the other 
undone. Ye blind guides, which strain out the 
gnat, and swallow the camel. Fill ye up the meas- 
ure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation 
of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of 
hell ?" '' The damnation of hell," are the words of 
Jesus himself: and if this damnation is reserved 
for any one, or any class of men, it certainly is for 



24 



men of this stripe, — men who dare to stand tip in 
the pulpit, and in the sacred name of the holy re- 
ligion of Jesus, commend such brutality, such in- 
human conduct, such utter lawlessness. 

But here I must stop. I shall hope on next 
Sabbath to finish what I have to say. This is the 
time for every pulpit to speak out, and to speak in 
no uncertain tone; the time when as a people we 
should get closer together, and understand each 
other, and prepare for the future. It is no time 
for cowards, and sycophants, and time-servers, 
but for men, who know what their rights are, and 
who are willing, if need be, to die in their 
defence. 



germon 0. 



Sources from which no help may be expected,— the 
general government, political parties, etc. 

*' Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall 
strengthen thine heart." — Psalm 27:14. 

/nnHE history of our people in this country has 



fifty years, from 1619 to 1863, from the landing of 
the first cargo of slaves at Jamestown to the issu- 
ing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the sur- 
render at Appomattox, we were subject to a most 
cruel and oppressive bondage. The history of 
those days can never be fully written. We get a 
little glimpse into them through such works as 
Uncle Tom^s Cabin," Dred," The Key to Uncle 
Tom's Cabin," Thousand and One Witnesses," 
by Theodore D. Weld; and through the files of such 
papers as the Liberator, the Anti-slavery Standard, 
The North Star, and from the sad stories which 
many of us have heard from the lips of those who 
were the victims of the slave power. But after 
every syllable has been read of all that has been 
written in books and papers and magazines, on the 
sorrows and sufferings of that period, the impres- 




For nearly two hundred and 



26 



sion we get falls far short of the reality. God 
only knows it in its entirety, and is alone able to 
fully appreciate and take in all the heartaches 
and sorrows and sufferings, and sad experiences 
that entered into the history of those two hundred 
and fifty years. 

With the close of the war, ended this first sad 
chapter in our history. For the time being the 
past was forgotten in the rejoicings of freedom. 
Never before in the history of this country were 
there such widespread expressions of joy as came 
with the death of slavery and the liberation of 
the slaves. No people ever before in the history 
of the world showed a keener appreciation of the 
gift of freedom. The whole land was vocal with 
music. The day of jubilee had come, not only for 
the black man, but for all lovers of freedom the 
land over. Who can ever forget those days, and 
the scenes of rejoicing w^hich took place all over 
the North and South. The sighs and tears and 
groans of the slave were no longer heard. All 
was joy, all was gladness. It seemed, indeed, as 
if our troubles were all over. 

Thus began the second chapter in our history in 
this country. First came freedom, and then, citi- 
zenship; and last of all the ballot. Then began 
the period of reconstruction, when for the first 
time in the history of the country the Negro was 
felt as a political factor. In nearly all of the old 
slave states, under Northern white leaders, his 



27 



power was felt. He was found in state legisla- 
tures, and in other high and responsible positions, 
and even in the Senate of the United States and 
in the House of Representatives. Everything 
seemed propitious, — the Negro was on the crest of 
the wave, a new era of prosperity seemed really to 
have set in. But during the Hayes Administra- 
tion the scene rapidly changed: the Republican 
party in the Soutn, with the Negro as its main 
support, was deserted by the national govern- 
ment, — the troops were withdrawn. And with 
their removal began a reign of terror, which has 
been one of the foulest blots upon our civilization. 
The old slave holding element reasserted itself, 
and by Ku-Klux Klans,and other murderous organ- 
izations, the Negro was hurled from political 
power, where he has remained ever since, and 
where so far as I can see, he is likely to remain 
for a long time to come. 

With the end of Republicanism in the South, 
began the third chapter in our history,— a chap- 
ter which has been fraught with evils as great, and 
sufferings as intense as the first, if not greater. 
The elective franchise, with which we were clothed 
as a means of protecting ourselves, and which 
seemed at the time, one of the greatest of boons, 
has, as a matter of fact, entailed upon us an in- 
heritance of suffering before which we stand ap- 
palled, especially in view of the recent bloody 
acts of lawlessness in North »and South Carolina. 



2g 



When the Negro was caught by slave-hunters and 
torn from his home in Africa, and transported to 
this land, to become a mere beast of burden, a 
thing to be bought and sold, to be kicked and cuffed 
about at the will of another, it was easy enough to 
see what the outcome would be. The record of 
those dreadful years of enforced ignorance and 
suffering was just what was to be expected. But 
when the Fifteenth Amendment was passed, con- 
ferring upon him the right to vote, who would 
have thought, that in virtue of that power, there 
was yet before him such a period of suffering as 
that through which he has been passing for the 
last two decades, and through which he is still 
passing? Who would have thought, that in virtue 
of that power, which lay at the very foundation of 
republican institutions, that hundreds and thou- 
sands would be shot down, and others driven from 
their homes, their property destroyed, and their 
most sacred rights as men and citizens, outraged? 
And yet, such has been the fact. During the 
short period of freedom since the passage of the 
Fifteenth Amendment, it has been estimated that 
more Negroes have been murdered, shot down like 
dogs, than during the whole two hundred and fifty 
years of slavery. Read the awful records of the 
Ku-Klux investigations: read the heart-sickening 
reports that come to us almost every day from the 
South of the brutal lynchings and other atrocities 
that are constantly* occuring, if you would under- 



29 



stand what these sufferings are. And they are the 
result, or very largely the result of political hatred. 
It is because the Negro dares to exercise his right 
as an x\merican citizen, because he is unwilling to 
becomai a political nonentity, or a mere tool in the 
hands of the Southern whites. The feeling is, — 
either he must be controlled, must be willing to do 
what he is directed to do by his self-appointed 
white masters, or else he must not be permitted to 
vote at all. Any exhibition of manhood, of inde- 
pendence, on his part is resented, is looked upon 
as an impertinence. As he grows in intelligence, 
in wealth, in self-respect, — as he becomes more 
self-assertive, — as the consciousness of what be- 
longs to him, and the disposition to claim his right, 
develops, the greater is the disposition to crush 
him. This feeling is especially strong in the 
South, but is also beginning to manifest itself all 
over the country. The aspiring Negro, the Negro 
who comes forward and says, I want an equal 
chance in the race of life, who says, I am a man, 
and you must treat me as a man, is the unpopular 
Negro, the Negro that nine white men out of 
every ten want to see put down. With this fact 
staring us in the face, and with the facts, referred 
to in my sermon on last Sabbath, — the increasing 
spirit of lawlessness in the South, the growing un- 
friendliness of Northern whites, the hostile atti- 
tude of the press, and the silence and cowardice 
of the pulpit, — the way certainly looks pretty dark. 



30 

and forces upon every thoughtful Negro the 
question, What is to be the outcome of all this ? 
What is to be the end ? Are things to go on from 
bad to worse, or is there to be a turn in the tide ^ 
I, for one, believe there is to be a chang^for the 
better. In the midst of the gathering darkness, I 
see indications which point to a brighter future. 
Every cloud has a silver lining. The darkest hour 
is just before the day. There is a silver lining to 
this heavy black cloud that hangs over us to-day. 
This night of murder, of lawlessness, of outraged 
decency, of inhumanity, will not always last. 
The silence of the pulpit, the hostility of the 
press, the unfriendliness of Northern whites can- 
not continue; conscience will one day get the vic- 
tory, the Right will prevail, will rise up in its 
might and smite down the oppressor. 

Some of these days all the skies will be brighter. 
Some of these days all the burdens be lighter. 
Hearts will be happier, souls will be whiter, 
Some of these days. 

Some of these days, in the deserts uprising. 
Fountains shall flash while the joybells are ringing, 
And the world, with its sweetest of birds, shall go singing. 
Some of these days. 

Some of these days : Let us bear with our sorrow, 
Faith in the future, — its light we may borrow. 
There will be joy in the golden to-morrow, — 
Some of these days. 



31 



That is my faith; I am no pessimist on this 
Negro problem. Terrible as the facts are, cruel 
and bitter as is this race prejudice, and insur- 
mountable, almost, as are the obstacles which it 
sets up in our pathway, I see a light ahead, I am 
hopeful, I look forward to better times. And I 
want to tell you this morning what the ground of 
this hope is. 

Before doing so, however, I may be permitted to 
say in passing, I do not think there is much 
ground for hope through national interposition. 
Whether the general government has power or not, 
the simple fact is, it lacks the disposition. I refer 
to no particular administration, but to the general 
government as such. It doesn't seem to make any 
difference who is at the head of affairs, the same 
indisposition is found, the same timidity is mani- 
fested, the same let-alone policy is pursued. I do 
not at this point raise the question as to whether 
that is a right or wrong policy. I am simply not- 
ing the fact, and saying, that through that source, 
there is little or no ground of hope, so far as I can 
see. And yet, I have sometimes felt that if we 
could have had in the presidential chair a succes- 
sion of men like Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsyl- 
vania, — that stern old commoner, that man of iron 
will, and of deep heartfelt sympathy for the op- 
pressed, the spirit of lawlessness in the South 
would long since have been stamped out. He 
would have found a way, just as President Cleve- 



32 



land found a way to suppress the labor riots in 
Chicago. ^Vhere there is a will, there is a way. 
The old pro-slavery power never found any diffi- 
culty in finding in the constitution and laws of the 
land a warrant for whatever it wanted to do: why 
should we find any difficulty in finding a warrant 
in the constitution and laws of the land for sup- 
pressing mob violence and revolution, for rooting 
out the band of murderers and traitors that infest 
the Southern section of our country? If the ene- 
mies of freedom found a way to do what they 
wanted, why should we find any difficulty in pro- 
tecting innocent and loyal black citizens of the 
Republic, who have been true to the nation in 
every crisis of its history, and who to-day are as 
true and as patriotic as any other class of citizens? 
Why, I ask, should there be any difficulty? 

Nor do I see any hope through the action of 
either of the great political parties. We have 
nothing to hope from the Democratic party, nei- 
ther have we anything to hope for from, the Re- 
publican Party. Neither party is going to concern 
itself about the rights of the Negro, except 
so far as it can use him. Neither party feels any 
interest in him: both would be glad to get rid of 
him. In the South, the Democratic party would 
eliminate him entirely, and in the North, it is only 
where he holds the balance of power, that any at- 
tention is ever paid to him. I am not speaking 
for or against either party; I am simply stating a 



33 



fact, wliich you know, and which I know, and 
which every man, white or black, knows to be true. 
The Democratic party has always stood in the way 
•of the Negro's advancement: that is its record. 
And the Republican party,^ — th^ time was when 
it stood squarely on the platform of human rights, 
when its great strong arm was stretched out in 
protection of the Negro, when it felt as Lowell has 
so nobly expressed it,^ — 

We owe allegiance to the State ; but 

deeper, truer, more, 
To the sympathies that God hath set 

within our spirif s core ; 
Our country claims our fealty ; we grant 

it so, but then 
Before Man made us citizens, great 

Nature made us men. 

He's true to God who's true to man ; 

wherever wrong is done. 
To the humblest and the weakests, 'neath 

the all-beholding sun, 
That wrong is also done to us ; and they 

are slaves most base, 
Whose love of right is for themselves, 

and not for all their race. 

That is where the Republican party once stood, 
when it was dominated by the influence of such 
men as Sumner and Wilson, Chase and Giddings, 
Morton and Stevens, and a host of other cham- 
pions of freedom; but it is not so now. It is so 
absorbed with matters of the tariff and the cur- 



34 

rency, that it doesn't seem to hear any long-er the 
cries of the oppressed millions of Negroes, for pro- 
tection against lawlessness and brutality. I da 
not say this, with a view of inducing a single rep- 
resentative of our race to abandon the grand old 
party: we owe it much, all that we have, — freedom^ 
citizenship, the ballot, came to us through it. We 
never can forget it: we never will forget it. No. 
And it is because of the love I bear it, and of 
what it has been, that it grieves me to find it so 
lukewarm and indifferent now to the interests 
which once stirred it so profoundly. 

Nor is there, so far as I can see, much ground of 
hope from an appeal to force. The odds are 
against us. Even in the South, the whites out- 
number us, are superior to us in intelligence, and 
in resources. It is also morally certain, that if 
there should be an uprising of the blacks-^ there 
would not only be a united Souths but also a 
united North, to crush it out ; and the general 
government, which has never been able to find a 
warrant in the Constitution and laws, and a suf- 
ficient pretext for interfering to put down the 
uprising of the whites against the blacks, would 
vary soon be en route for the scene of action. 
The whole army and navy, if it were necessary, 
would be employed to crush out a Negro uprising. 

And yet, while this may be true, I am also re- 
minded of the fact, that in the dreadful condition 
of things which existed in France for centuries. 



35 



where the lower and middle classes were op- 
pressed, ground down under the heel of the nobility, 
it was not until that awful tragedy, called the 
French Revolution, burst upon the world, that a 
change for the better began. You remember what 
Lowell says in his immortal ^^Ode to France:" 

They trampled Peace beneath their savage f^et. 

And by her golden tresses drew 
Mercy along the pavement of the street. 
O Freedom: Freedom: is thy morning dew 
• So gory red ? Alas, thy li^ht had ne'er 

Shone in upon the chaos of their lair. 
They reared to thee such symbols as they knew, 

And worshipped it with flame and blood, 

A vengeance, axe in hand, that stood 
Holding a tyrant's head up by the clotted hair.'^ 

That great movement, the greatest, perhaps, 
aside from the birth of Christ, in the annals of 
the world, began in blood. 

I am also reminded of the fact, that during the 
great anti-slavery agitation in this country, it was 
not until John Brown, that apostle of force, struck 
his blow at Harper's Ferry, that the nation was 
aroused to a true sense of the nature of the cancer 
that was gnawing at its vitals. It was the blow at 
Harper's Ferry that stirred the Nation from its 
sleep as nothing else had done. Brown was hung, 
it is true, but the glorious cause for which he 
struck went marching on. Von Hoist, in the sev- 
enth volume of his History of the United States, in 



36 



Speaking of the Harper's Ferry episode, says, ^^By 
means of that scaffold, — the first erected in the 
United States for a traitor, and, indeed, for a po- 
litical criminal. — the words, ''He that is not for me 
is against me, and he that is not against me^ is for 
me," grew to the fulness of truth. Precisely 
because it \\'as conceded, almost without contra- 
diction, that the local existence of slavery had 
made Brown's execution a necessity, people could 
not help having universally certain feeling of 
responsibility for it, since not the South alone, but 
the entire people, bore before God and man the 
responsibility for the legal existence of slavery. 
Hence, if not loudly, at least irrepressibly, the voice 
of conscience, in numberless breasts, demanded an 
answer to the question, whether that scaffold was 
a tree of malediction and ignominy for the man 
who had to breathe his life out upon it, or rather 
for the people who were compelled by their insti- 
tutions to erect it. Brown's conduct, from the 
moment of his arrest until his latest breath, irre- 
sistibly forced new multitudes, every day, to ask 
themselves this question, with the honesty and 
earnestness which its dreadful importance de- 
manded ; and the number of those from whom it 
wrested the right answer, and who had the courage 
publicly to confess it, swelled to even greater pro- 
portions." 

Continuing, he says,— The attack he and his 
twenty men made on slavery, with powder and 



37 



lead, was a sublime piece of folly." Considered in 
its physical aspects, it was a sublime piece of folly; 
but was it in vain ? That it was not, is evident 
from Van Hoist's own words, for he goes on to say, 
*'The fear with which his lawless violence had in- 
spired the South was groundless, but the slavoc- 
racy had no arms, offensive, or defensive, against 
John Brown, overpowered, mortally wounded, and 
hanged. Even in his boldest dreams he had never 
ventured to hope that he would be able to deal 
slavery a blow of such destructive force as he had 
now dealt it, by his suffering and his death." And 
so, before this question is settled, it may be neces- 
sary to startle the nation again by some terrible 
tragedy from its sleep of indifference to the in- 
creasing disregard to the rights of the Negro, by 
the same power that held him dowm before, and 
against which John Brown leveled his blow. Do 
not misunderstand me. lam not counseling vio- 
lence : I am not saying that it is a wise thing for the 
Negro to resort to violence; but I am saying that 
sometimes violence is the means which God uses 
to arouse the sleeping conscience, and pierce the 
rhinoceros hide of indifference. I trust that it may 
not be necessary, but if it must come, then, I for 
one say, let it come, and the sooner it comes the 
better. The Negro will not be responsible for it. 
What Lowell says of the oppressed millions of 
France will be equally true of him, 

*' They did as they were taught ; not theirs the blame, 
If men who scattered firebrands reaped the flame." 



38 



There is in this same wonderful poem a lesson 
which it would be well for these white Southern 
bullies and Negro haters, whose highest ambition 
is to put their heels on the neck of the Negro, to 
note and carefully consider. It is contained in the 
first stanza: — 

"As, flake by flake, the beetling avalanches 

Build up their imminent crags of noiseless snow, 
Till some chance thrill the loosened ruin launches, 

And the blind havoc leaps unwarned below, — 
So grew and gathered through the silent years 
The madness of a people, wrong by wrong. 

There seemed no strength in the dumb toilers' tears, 
No strength in suffering, but the past was strong: 

The brute despair of trampled centuries 

Leaped up with one hoarse yell and snapped its bands, 

Groped for its rights with horny, callous hands. 
And stared around for God with bloodshot eyes. 

What wonder if those palms were all too hard 

For nice distinctions, if that maddened throng, — 
They whose thick atmosphere no bard 

Had shivered with the lightning of his song. 
Brutes, with the memories and desires of men, 

Whose chronicles were writ with iron pen, 
In the crooked shoulder and the forehead low, — 

Set wrong to balance wrong. 

And physicked woe with woe ?" 

Things cannot go on in the way in which they 
are going on in the South, without producing in 
the Negro a feeling of bitterness, of hatred, under 
a sense of wrong, which is bound, sooner or later, 
to have its harvest of blood. That is the teaching 



39 



^ of experience; that is the way these things work 
themselves out. This was the thought, evidently, 
in the mind of Longfellow when he wrote The 
Warning/* 

"Beware. The Israelite of old, who tore 
The lion in his path, when, poor and blind, 

He saw the blessed light of heaven no more, 
Shorn of his noble strength and forced to grind 

In prison, and at last led forth to be 
A pander to Philistine revelry, — 

Upon the pillars of the temple laid 

His desperate hand, and in its overthrow 
Destroyed himself, and with him those who made 

A cruel mockery of his sightless woe ; 
The poor, blind Slave, the scoff and jest of all, 

Expired, and thousands perished in the fall. 

There is a poor, blind Samson in this land. 

Shorn of his strength, and bound in bonds of steel, 
• Who may, in some grim revel, raise his hand, 
And shake the pillars of this Commonweal, 
Till the vast temple of our liberties 
A shapeless mass of wreck and rubbish lies." 

This Negro question must be settled, and it must 
be settled right: and until it is settled right, there 
will be no peace. That is God's law. It is vain to 
cry, peace, peace, as long as iniquity abounds. 
The white people in the South, and the white peo- 
ple in the North, as well, who sympathize with the 
Southern estimate of the Negro, had just as well 
understand, once for all, that the Negro is a man 
and an American citizen, and that he will never be 



40 



satisfied until he is treated as a man, and as a full- 
fledged citizen. Until his manhood is recognized, 
and all his rights, civil and political, are accorded 
to him, he will never hold his peace, will never 
cease to cry aloud, to agitate, to make trouble. 
He would be a fool if he didn't. This is what the 
Southern whites-, and the Northern symphathizers. 
might just as well understand, I say. And it 
would be well also for the representative of our 
race, who thinks that the best policy for us to pur- 
sue is self-effacement, to understand it. Self- 
effacement! Show me a Negro who believes in 
self-effacement, and I will show" you a Negro, who 
will himself sooner or later become effaced. 

There is not the slightest danger of this race, 
which can boast of a Douglass, — that jioble type of 
heroic manhood, — ever consenting to self-efface- 
ment. Why the very thought of it, is enough to 
bring back from the grave that old, battle-scarred 
hero. I almost seem to see him now, in view of 
this pernicious doctrine which has been projecting 
itself upon our attention for the past week or ten 
days, coming up from his resting place in yonder 
cemetery with disheveled locks, and outstretched 
arms, and troubled countenance, and saying by the 
expression upon his face: — What does all this 
mean? Are you losing your senses, my people? 
Yes, There he stands, — great Douglass, — sad of 
countenance, and with an affrighted, terrified look 
in his eyes. Be not disturbed, O friend of many 



41 



years, O great champion, who didst carry this race 
in thy bosom as a father his nursing child, dur- 
ing all thine earthly pilgrimage: — go back to thy 
resting place. Have no fear. We, who have 
looked into thy face ; we, who have heard thy 
voice; we, who have caught thy spirit; we, who 
know something of the mighty manhood which 
burned in thy breast, will never consent to, or in 
any way countenance, the pernicious doctrine of 
race-efEacement. We pledge ourselves to-day, as 
we think of thee, and of thy great compeers, — 
Garrison, Phillips, Sumner, Whittier, Lundy, Love- 
joy, Purvis, — and of our brothers in the South, 
lying in their untimely graves, sent there by the 
bullets of lawless and bloody rutiians; and of their 
loved ones, left to mourn their loss in their lonely 
wanderings in solitary places, afraid to return to 
their homes, — as we think of thee, and of all these, 
we pledge ourselves never to be satisfied with any- 
thing less than the treatment that belongs to a 
man, and to a full-fledged American citizen. We 
pledge ourselves, not only to maintain that attitude 
ourselves, but to teach our children, and our chil- 
dren's children to do the same. Fathers and 
mothers, you who are here, you, who have little 
children coming up, you who will soon pass from 
the stage of action, remember what I am saying; 
see to it that your children catch the spirit of 
which I am speaking, and which was so magnifi- 
cently exemplified in the character of our great 



42 



leaderand champion. Teach your sons and daugh- 
ters, begin when they are little, as soon as they are 
able to understand, that though they may have a 
dark skin, they are just as much the children of 
God, are just as dear to him, and are entitled to the 
same rights and privileges, under the Constitution, 
as the whitest child. Teach them that they have 
rights, and equal rights, with the whitest, and to 
stand up for their rights. Teach them to respect 
themselves, and not to despise themselves because 
they happen to have a dark skin. Don't let them 
get into their heads the notion that because they 
are colored, therefore, they must efface themselves, 
must be satisfied with less than is accorded to 
white children. Let them take in these ideas with 
the first breath they breathe, with the milk that 
they suck from the breast of motherhood, and let 
them strengthen with their age. The place in 
which to kill this pernicious doctrine of self- 
effacement, and to beget a spirit of manliness that 
will take care of itself, in the battle which we are 
waging with the enemies of our rights, is the 
home. If you, fathers and mothers, will do your 
duty, in a short while there will not be found in 
this broad land a single Negro advocating this 
doctrine of self-effacement. Everywhere there 
will be found a sturdy manhood, that will com- 
mand respect, and that no cowardly ruffians will 
be found trampling upon with impunity. 



A3 



As I think of our great, departed leader, Dotig- 
lass, and remember that there is a school building 
in this city named after him, and that his portrait 
hangs upon its wall, and that there has been inau- 
gurated here what is called a Douglass Day, in the 
schools, I feel that I have a message also for the 
teachers, — you who meet these children six days 
out of the week; you who are not only training 
their intellects, but also helping to mould their 
characters, — I lay upon you the same solemn 
charge as was laid upon the fathers and mothers. 
See to it that you enforce the teachings of the 
home in this respect; that you do your part in giv- 
ing to your pupils just conceptions of what their 
rights are, and the spirit in which the}^ should 
stand up for them. Catch the spirit yourselves, 
and see to it that you put it into them. Whatever 
else you fail in doing, whatever else you may 
slight, or slur over, see to it that you put con- 
science into this, — for the destiny of a race is in- 
volved in it. The real issue is, whether the Negro 
shall be accorded the rights and privileges of a man 
and a citizen in this country; and the way to meet 
this issue, is to develop manhood in the Negro. A 
race that permits itself to be trampled upon will 
be trampled upon. A race that goes around with 
hat in hand, in a cringing attitude, in the presence 
of the dominant race, as if it were afraid to claim 
anything, lest it might give offense, or entail suf- 
fering upon itself, is sure to be an object of con- 



44 



tempt. Let us here, to-day, one and all of us, be- 
fore God, — in this sacred place, pledge ourselves 
to eternal hostility to any teaching that would 
put the Negro in such an attitude. Be assured 
that nothing is to be gained by compromising with 
evil. The divine injunction is, " Resist the devil, 
vand he will flee from you; and if as a race, we do 
not resist these encroachments upon our rights, we 
will be trampled upon more and more. Why, the 
very thought of race-effacement stirs me to the 
very centre of my being. The more I think of it, 
the madder I get, the m.ore is my indignation 
aroused, the more am I impressed with the impor- 
tance of stamping it with the indelible stigma of 
abhorrence. What was the whole history of sla- 
very in this country, but an attemjpt on the part of 
the Southern whites to efface from the Negro 
every element that went to make a man, and to de- 
grade him to a mere beast of burden? And now, 
after more than thirty years of freedom, shall the 
Negro be asked to take up this work, which was 
begun by the slave oligarchy, and carry it on by 
effacing himself? Why, it is abhorrent. Is thy 
servant a dog, that he should do this thing?" Such 
a suggestion coming from white men would be 
bad enough, but when it comes from black men, — 
well, I w^ill not characterize it. 

Be assured, the more we yield, the more we will 
be called upon to yield. If we practice self-efface- 
ment in one respect, in obedience to the demands 



# 



45 

of our enemies, we will be called upon to do it in 
others. . The folly of such a course is to be seen in 
the very spirit out of which the demand comes. 
It is the spirit which denies the equality of the 
Negro, which assumes that he belongs to an inferior 
race, — an inferiority due not to circumstances, but 
inherent, inborn, God-ordained; and therefore, be- 
cause he is a Negro, he has no right to expect, or 
to receive the same treatment as a white man. 
Such a spirit is not to be overcome by concession, 
by self-renunciation, but by self-assertion, by manly 
resistance. That was the gospel that was preached 
by the sage of Anacostia, by Garnet, by Ward, by 
the champions of freedom in every age of the 
world. What if the American people had adopted 
the principle of self-effacement, in the presence of 
the unjust demands of the British Crown? Where 
would we be to-day? The immortal Declaration of 
Independence never would have been written, and 
the Revolutionary War, out of which came this 
great Republic, never would have been fought. 
What, if the English people themselves had quiet- 
ly submitted to the tyranny of King John, where 
would have been the Magna Charta? When Mr. 
Garrison began the Anti-slavery agitation in this 
country, how did he meet the slave power? As 
Lundy had done, by preaching the gospel of grad- 
ual emancipation? No: but by the demand for 
immediate, unconditional emancipation. And it 
was that doctrine that won. In what spirit did he 



46 



meet the whole nation, North as well as South, 
when the press and the pulpit, and the army and 
navy, stood behind the institution of slavery? In 
an apologetic, and compromising tone?- No. He 
said, ^' I am in earnest; I will not excuse; I will 
not equivocate; I will not retreat a single inch; 
and I will be heard." And he was heard. That is 
the spirit that always conquers. You can't kill 
that spirit, the individuals breathing it may die, 
but its influence will remain. As Byron has ex- 
pressed it, 

"The block may soak their gore ; their heads 

Be strung to city gates or castle walls, 

But still their spirit walks abroad." 

In the struggle with oppression in this country, 
through which we are now passing, the same spirit, 
that came upon Garrison must come upon us. We 
must be in earnest; we must not equivocate; we 
must not excuse; we must not retreat a single inch 
in the demand which we make for complete recog- 
nition of all of our rights: and we must be heard. 
That is the gospel that I believe in; that is the 
gospel that I have been preaching, and shall go on 
preaching as long as God gives me breath. Stand- 
ing in this sacred desk and place, and in your pres- 
ence, I raise my right hand to heaven, and say. 
Let it be paralyzed, if I am ever found preaching 
any other gospel. 

But I have not yet told you what my reasons are 
for being hopeful of the future: and as it is now too 



47 



late to do so, I shall be obliged to ask your indul- 
gence for yet another Sabbath, I am glad to see 
so many here. It shows that we are interested in 
race issues. God grant that this interest may go 
on broadening and deepening. 



gcrmon HI. 



Signs of a brigliter future. 

' ' Wait on the Lord ; be of good courage, and He shall 
strengthen thine heart. * — Psalm 27:14, 



FOR the past two Sabbaths, 1 have been speak- 
ing of some of the discouraging circumstances 
in the struggle which we are making, for our rights 
in this country, — the growing unfriendliness of the 
North, the hostility of the press, the silence and 
cowardice of the Pulpit, the growing spirit of law- 
lessness in the South, the apathy and indifference 
of the general government and of both political 
parties. In spite of all these discouragements, 
however, I believe as I said on last Sabbath, that 
there is a brighter future for us in this country. 
And I ground this belief (i), upon the fact that 
the Negro is thinking about his rights to-day, 
with a seriousness and earnestness such as he has 
never displayed before. Not only the more in- 
telligent and thoughtful Negro, but all classes, 
from the highest to the lowest, from the most in- 
telligent to the most illiterate. The recent out- 
rage that was perpetrated at Wilmington by a 



49 



band of law breakers and murderers has stirred 
our people as nothing else has ever done. I have 
seen them aroused before, but never as at present. 
Everywhere the feeling- is the same. For the 
moment, this bold, brazen, murderous assault upon . 
our rights, and the consequences to which it 
must inevitably lead, if the spirit out of which it 
has come is allowed to go unchecked, has crowded 
out every other thought. This is the way it has 
affected me, and this is the way it has affected all ' 
with whom I have come in contact. A something is 
touching the heart of the Negro as I have never 
seen it touched before. What is it? What does it 
all mean? Is it the instinct of self preservation? 
It means that the Negro is waking up to a realiza- 
tion of the true meaning of these outrages, that 
in them he sees a studied, persistent, carefully 
thought out plan to despoil him of his rights. It 
means also, the growing purpose and determina- 
tion on his part to resist these aggressions. And 
this to my mind is one. of the most hopeful signs 
of a brighter day. If the Negro could himself 
submit to these outrages, these assaults upon his 
rights, without a protest; if there was any dispo- 
sition on his part to quietly acquiesce in them; did 
they not fill him with righteous indignation; were 
he not moved to growl and grumble and resist, 
then would there be indeed, ground for despond- 
ency. But the fact that he does not quietly submit, 
that he feels outraged by them, is to my mind one 



50 

of the saving qualities in his character, and one of 
the most hopeful signs of his ability to take care 
of himself and to carve out for himself a great and 
honorable future. Thank God for these myriad 
voices that I hear everywhere protesting ; for 
this discontent with present conditions which I 
see everywhere manifesting itself. The very thing 
which so many of our enemies are finding fault 
with, are using against us, — namely, that the Negro 
is becoming more and more insolent, more and more 
obtrusive, more and more self-assertive, — is the 
very thing which gives me hope. It shows that he 
is becoming more and more conscious of what be- 
longs to him, and m.ore and more determined to 
stand up for his rights. That, of course, is a very 
bad sign to those who think that the Negro has 
no rights which white men are bound to respect. 
Every demjand which he makes, every attempt to 
stand in his place as a man is regarded as an im- 
pertinence, as a piece of insolence. If he does not' 
lift his hat in the presence of a white face, and take 
the outside of the sidewalk, as the old time ante- 
bellum Negro used to do, he is adjudged, No good, 
and is looked upon as a Negro who has been spoiled 
by freedom. No, my white friends, it is not that 
he has been spoiled by freedom, but that under 
freedom he has been developing; it means, that 
under freedom he is becoming more of a man, 
more and more conscious of his rights ; it means 
that the scales are falling from his eyes, and the 



51 



glorious light of freedom is streaming in upon his 
vision. It is Lowell who says : 

'*When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's 
aching breast 

Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west, 
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him 
climb 

To the awful verge of manhood." 

And that is what these exhibitions of so-called 
insolence mean : they mean that the Negro, who 
was once a slave in this land, under the bracing air 
of freedom, is beginning to *'climb to the awful 
verge of manhood." This consciousness which is 
beginning to awake in him, and which is beginning 
to show signs of increasing vitality,— the conscious- 
ness that he is a man, and that he is entitled to be 
treated as a man, — is not going to be crushed out 
under the iron heel of oppression, or awed into 
silence by armed mobs of bloody ruffians in the 
South, or by the acquiescence and sympathetic sup- 
port of Northern Negro haters. No : it will go on 
gathering strength. The Negro is bound to get 
his rights, or else there will be trouble: there w^ill 
be trouble anyhow, but it won't last. It will cease 
just as soon as the whites come to see that the 
Negro himself is in earnest, that he means to claim 
his rights, and to have them. There is nothing 
which this Anglo-Saxon race honors more than 
manhood. It will resent it at first in other races, 
especially in so-called inferior races, but when it 



5^ 



has once been demonstrated, it will respect it. And 
the fact that the Negro is developing manhood is 
a hopeful sign that his rights will one day be fully 
recognized. 

In this connection, one of the things which has 
encouraged me greatly of late has been*the action 
of the colored miners who were imported from 
Alabama to work in the mines of Illinois, because 
of a strike on the part of the white laborers. These 
black men needed work : they had the offer of 
work ; they accepted the offer, as they had a right 
to do, and proceeded to the place designated by 
their employers, but were met by armed men who 
declared that they should not carry out their con- 
tract. What did these Negro laborers do? Run- 
away? No, they prepared to defend themselves, 
and did defend themselves, as every man has a right 
to do. It took a good deal of courage for these 
men, under the circumstances, even to go to Illi- 
nois, but they went all the same. Of course, under 
the self-effacement theory, they did wrong, they 
had no right to go. They knew that they were not 
wanted, that if they went trouble would ensue, and, 
therefore, they ought to have stayed away. Peace 
is the thing, according to this doctrine, that we 
must always keep in view, and for which we must 
be willing to make any and every sacrifice: and 
that means, not peace in our own souls, but peace in 
the soul of the white man, — the peace that the lion 
feels when the lamb is on the inside of him, — peace 



53 



in the sense of making the white man peaceably 
inclined towards us. In other words, the giving tip 
on our part of everything in us which the white 
man doesn't like, which may be displeasing to him. 
If ever there was a doctrine that was conceived by 
the evil one, it is certainly this doctrine of race 
effacement, in deference to the Negro-hating spirit 
of the South. 

The black miners, who went from Alabama into 
Illinois, took no stock in this doctrine. The fact 
that white laborers did not want them to work 
did not influence them in the least : they went 
straight forward, and when their rights were as- 
sailed, they defended themselves. These men are 
still in Illinois, and they are likely to remain there, 
and to pursue their work unmolested. It is in the 
growth of this spirit, the spirit of manly resistance 
to unjust assaults upon our rights, which I see 
everywhere manifesting itself, that the dawning of 
a better day for us in this land is to be found. 

(2.) I am hopeful, because of the progress which 
the Negro is making in intelligence and in wealth. 
Think of what our condition was at the close of 
the war, and of what it is to-day, in these respects. 
That we are progressing, there can be no doubt : 
indeed, in view of all the circumstances, our prog- 
ress has been marvelous. 

Take the matter of wealth. Since freedom, hun- 
dreds and thousands of our people have become 
property owners in the South. Many of them are 



54 



prosperous and successful farmers ; thousands and 
hundreds of thousands of acres of land have come 
into their possession, hundreds and thousands of 
them in the cities own their own homes, and are 
engaged insmall but lucrative business enterprises 
of one kind or another. They are now paying taxes 
on some three hundred million dollars' worth of 
property. That is not a very large sum, I admit, 
considered as the aggregate wealth of a whole 
race, numbering some seven or eight millions; 
but whether much or little, it indicates progress, 
and very considerable progress, and that is the 
point to which I am directing attention. The ac- 
quisitive faculty in the Negro is being developed ; 
his eyes are being opened more and more to the 
importance of getting wealth : and slowly, but 
surely, he is getting it. 

Educationally, the same is true. Thirty years 
ago there were but few educational institutions 
among us, but few professional men, — doctors, law- 
yers, ministers, — ministers of intelligence, — teach- 
ers; but few men and women of education. Now, 
there are thousands of well-equipped m^en and 
women in all the professions, and thousands upon 
thousands of men and women of education in every 
part of the country. Not only are there institu- 
tions founded especially for our benefit, crowded 
with students, but all the great institutions of 
the land are now open to us, and in all of them, 
with scarcely an exception, are to be found rep- 



5-5 



resentatives of our race: and the number in 
such institutions is steadily increasing. The last 
report of the Commissioner of Education shows 
that in the common schools of the sixteen former 
slave States and the District of Columbia, there are 
enrolled 1,429,713 pupils, and that in these schools, 
some twenty-five thousand teachers are employed. 
It also shows that there are 178 schools for second- 
ary and higher education, with an enrollment of 
over forty thousand pupils. There are, of course, 
thousands of our people who are still very ignorant, 
but that there is vastly more intelligence in the 
race now, than at the close of the war, no one will * 
pretend to deny. The colleges and universities, 
the high and normal schools, are turning out hun- 
dreds of graduates every year. The educational 
outlook for the race is certainly very encouraging. 

In view of these two factors, — the growing desire 
on the part of the Negro for material possessions, 
the fact that he is actually acquiring property, 
and his growing intelligence, — I see signs of a 
brighter future for him. These are elements of 
power that will make themselves felt. You may- 
deprive a poor and ignorant people of their rights, 
and succeed in keeping them deprived of them, but 
you can't hope to do that when these conditions 
are changed: and the point to which I am directing 
attention here, is that this change is taking place. 
All that has been done, and is being done to stim- 
ulate in the Negro this principle of acquisitive- 



S6 



ness, and to increase his thirst for knowledge, is a 
harbinger of a better day. Every dollar saved, or 
properly invested; every atom of brain power that 
is developed, is a John the Baptist in the wilder- 
ness, crying, Make straight the pathway of the 
Negro. In proportion as the race rises in intelli- 
gence and wealth, the valleys will be filled and the 
mountains will be leveled, that now stand in the 
way of his progress, in the way of the complete 
recognition of all of his rights. Ignatius Donnelly, 
in that remarkable book of his, " Doctor Huguet," 
w^hich some of you, doubtless, have read, would 
seem to teach the opposite of this. He attempts to 
show that never mind what the intellectual at- 
tainments of the Negro may be, — he may be a 
Doctor Huguet, learned wnth all the learning of 
the schools, and cultured w' ith all the culture of the 
ages, — still there is no chance for him, there is no 
hope of his being recognized. The story as told 
by him is, at first, quite staggering and terribly 
depressing. But when we remember that, accord- 
ing to the story, there was but one Dr. Huguet with 
a black skin, and that he was poor, and that all the 
rest of his race were poor and ignorant,Jight breaks 
in upon the darkness, the awful pall which it casts 
upon us, is at once lifted. How will it be when 
instead of one Dr. Huguet, there are hundreds and 
thousands of them, scholarly men and women, cul- 
tivated men and women, men and women of wealth, 
of large resources ? It will be very different. If 



57 



the Negro was indifferent to education; if lie was 
actually getting poorer, then we might lose heart; 
but, thank God, the very opposite is true. His face 
is in the right direction. He may not be pressing 
on as rapidly as he might towards the goal, as rap- 
idly as some of us might wish to see him, but it is 
a matter for congratulation, that he is not retro- 
grading, nor even standing still, but is moving on. 
Poor? Yes, but he isn't always going to be poor. 
Ignorant? Yes, but he isn't always going to be 
ignorant. The progress that he has already made 
in these directions shows clearly v/hat the future is 
to be. Knowledge is power; wealth is powder, and 
that power the Negro is getting. He is not always 
going to be a mere hewer of wood and a drawer of 
water; he is not always going to be crude, ignorant, 
American prejudice is strong, I know; it is full of 
infernal hate, I know, but in the long run it wall be 
found to be no match for the power which com.es 
from wealth and intelligence. 

(3.) I am hopeful because I have faith in the ulti- 
mate triumph of right. You remember w^hat 
Lowell says in his *^Elegy on the Death of Dr. 
Channing:" 

'*Truth needs no champions: in the infinite deep 

Of everlasting soul her strength abides, 
From Nature's heart her mighty pulses leap, 

Through Nature's veins her strength, undying tides. 

I watch the circle of the eternal years, 
And read forever in the storied page 



One lengthened" roll of blood, an-d wrong, and tear^v — 
One onward s-^iep of Truth from age to age. 

The poor are crushed,, the tyrants link their chain ; 

The poet sings through narrow dungeon-grates; 
Man's- hope lies quenched; — and, lo, with steadfast gaiia 

Freedom doth forge her mail of adverse fates. 

Men slay the prophets ; fagot,, rack, and cross 

Make up the groaning records of the past; 
But Evil's triumphs are her endless loss. 

And sovereign Beauty wins the soul at last."" 

"From off the starry mountain -peak of song. 

The spirit shows me, in the coming time. 
An earth unwithered by the foot of wrong, 

A race revering its own soul sublime." 

And in the *'Ode to France/' from which I quoted 
on last Sabbath^ the same glorious thought is ex- 
pressed: — 

**And surely never did thine altars glance 
With purer fires than now in France ; 
While, in their bright white flashes. 
Wrong's shadow, backward cast. 
Waves cowering o'er the ashes 
Of the dead, blaspheming past, 

O'er the shapes of fallen giants, 
His own unburied brood. 

Whose dead hands clench defiance 
At the overpowering good: 
And down the happy future runs a flood 

Of prophesying light; 
It shows an Earth no longer stained with blood. 
Blossom and fruit where now we see the bud 
Of Brotherhood and Right." 



59 



That is my faith. The wrong may triumph for 
the moment, but in its very triumph is its death- 
knell; it cannot always prevail, God has so con- 
stituted the moral universe, has so planted in the 
human heart the sense of right, that ultimately 
justice is sure to be done. '"Ever the Right comes 
uppermost," is no mere poetic fancy, but one of 
God's great laws. In the light of that law, I am 
hopeful. I know that things cannot go on as they 
are going on now, that the outrageous manner in 
which we are at present treated cannot always 
continue. It is bound to end sooner or later. 

(4.) I am hopeful, because I have faith in the 
power of the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ to 
conquer all prejudices, to break down all walls of 
separation, and to weld together men of all races 
in one great brotherhood. It is a religion that 
teaches the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood 
of man, a religion in which there is neither Greek 
nor Jew, barbarian, Scythian, bond or free. And 
this religion is in this . land. There are, ac- 
cording to the statistics of the churches for 1898, 
excluding Christian Scientists, Jews and Latter 
Day Saints, 135,667 ministers in the United States^ 
187,075 churches, and 26,100,884 communicants in 
these churches. This would seem to be a guarantee 
that every right belonging to the Negro would be 
secured to him: that in the struggle which he is 
making in this country for simple justice and fair 
play, for manhood recognition, for such treat- 



'6o 



ment as his humanity and citizenship entitle him^ 
back of him would be found these 135,667 ministers^ 
187,075 churches and 26,100,884 church membersv 
But, alas, such is not the case. These professed 
followers of the Lord jesus Christ who came to 
seek and to save the lost, who was the friend of 
publicans and sinners, whose gospel was a gospel 
of love, and who was all the time reaching down 
and seeking to befriend the low^ly, those who w^ere 
despised and w^ho were being trampled upon by 
others; — the Christ of whom it is written, ''And he 
shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither 
reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with 
righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove 
with equity for the meek of the earth; and who 
in speaking of himself said, ''The spirit of the 
Lord God is upon me; because he hath sent me to 
bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to 
the captives, and the opening of the prison to them 
that are bound; to comfort all that mourn; to give 
them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourn- 
ing, the garment of praise for the spirit of heavi- 
ness:" — these professed followers of this wonder- 
fully glorious Christ, instead of standing back of 
the poor Negro in the earnest, desperate struggle 
which he is making against this damnable race- 
prejudice, which curses him because he is down, 
branding him with vile epithets, calling him low, 
degraded, ignorant, besotted: and yet putting its 
heel upon his neck so as to prevent him from ris- 



6i 



ing: despising hiiii because he is down, and hating 
him when he manifests any disposition to throw 
off his ignorance and degradation and show him- 
self a man; — in this struggle, I say, against this 
damnable race-prejudice, these professing Christ- 
ians are often his worst enemies, his most malig- 
nant haters and traducers. In the bloody riot at 
Wilmington, when law and order and decency 
were trampled under foot, there were not only 
church members among the lawless ruffians who 
subverted the government and destroyed life and 
property, but even ministers of the gospel, we are 
told, were out with muskets on their shoulders, 
ready to shoot down black American citizens, for 
no crime, unless it be a crime for a Negro to exer- 
cise his constitutional right. 

If I could bring myself to believe by any process 
of reasoning, that these people w^ere really Christ- 
ians, it would drive me into infidelity: I would 
utterly repudiate such a religion. But 1 know 
tha^ they are not Christians: I know that the re- 
ligion — I was about. to say, which they profess, but 
rather which they possess, — is not Christianity. It 
is a miserable lie to say that it is. And you know 
that it is a lie: and I know that it is a lie: and 
these very people who profess to be Christians 
know that they are lying; and God, before whose 
judgment seat they shall one day stand to answer 
for their cowardly and brutal treatment of a weak 
and struggling race, or their quiet acquiescence in 
it, knows that they are lying. 



62 



In saying that the religion of the Lord Jesus 
Christ is in this land, 1 do not therefore, base my 
assertion upon the fact, that there are 135,667 min- 
isters in it, and 187,075 churches, and 26,100,884 
professing Christians. No. The American Church 
as such 'is only an apology for a church. It is an 
apostate church, utterly unworthy of the name 
which it bears. Its spirit is a mean, and cowardly, 
and despicable spirit. One shall chase a thou- 
sand, we are told in the good Book — and two shall 
put ten thousand to flight. And yet with 135,667 
preachers, and more than 26,000,000 church mem- 
bers in this land, this awful, black record of 
murder and lawlessness against a weak and de- 
fenseless race, still goes on. In the presence of 
this appalling fact, I can well understand the 
spirit which moved Theodore Parker,— that pulpit 
Jupiter of his day, — when in his great sermon on 
**The True^Idea of a Christian Church," he said, 
*'In the midst of all these wrongs and sins, — the 
crimes of men, society and the State, — amid pop- 
ular ignorance, pauperism, crime and war, and 
slavery too, — is the church to say nothing, do 
nothing: nothing for the good of such as feel the 
wrong, nothing to save them who do the wrong ? 
Men tell us so, in word and deed; that way "alone 
is safe ! If I thought so, I would never enter 
the church bpt once again, and then to bow my 
shoulders to their manliest work, to heave down its 
strong pillars, arch and dome, and roof, and wall. 



63 



steeple and tower, though like Samson I buried 
myself under the ruins of that temple which pro- 
faned the worship of the God most high, of God 
most loved. I would do this in the name of man; 
in the name of Christ I would do it; yes, in the 
dear and blessed name of God." And I would do 
it, too. 

In spite of the shallowness and emptiness and 
glaring hypocrisy of this thing which calls itself 
the church, this thing which is so timid, so cow- 
ardly that it dares not touch any sin that is un- 
popular, I still believe that Christianity is in this 
land. To-day it is like a little grain of mustard 
seed, but it has entered the soil, has germinated, 
and is springing up. It is like th% little lump of 
leaven which the woman hid in three measures of 
meal: but it has begun to work, and will go on 
working, diffusing itself, until the whole is leav- 
ened. God has promised to give to his Son the 
heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost 
parts of the earth for his possession: and in that 
promise this land is included. Christianity shall 
one day have sway even in Negro-hating America; 
the spirit which it inculcates, and which it is 
capable of producing, is sure, sooner or later, to 
prevail. I have, myself, here and there, seen its 
mighty transforming power. I have seen white 
men and women under its regenerating influence 
lose entirely the caste feeling, to whom the brother 
in black was as truly a brother as the brother in 



64 



white. If Christianity were a mere world influ- 
ence, I should have no such hope; but it is some- 
thing more than a mere world influence; it is from 
above; back of it is the mighty power of God. The 
record is, "To as m.any as received him to them 
gave he power to become children of God, even to 
them that believed on his name, which were born, 
not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of 
the will of man, but of God." It can do what no 
mere human power can do. Jesus Christ is yet to 
reign in this land. I will not see it, you will not 
see it, but it is coming all the same. In the growth 
of Christianity, true, real, genuine Christianity in 
this land, I see#the promise of better things for us 
as a race. 

(5.) I have faith in a brighter future for us in 
this country, because both in the North and in the 
South, there are some white men, and some white 
, women, too, who do not approve of the present 
treatment which is accorded to us, or share in the 
sentiment which regards us as naturally inferior 
to the whites, as designed by Nature for a lower 
plane. There are some white people in this coun- 
try, who believe that the Negro is a man, and that 
he is entitled to be treated as a man; that he is a 
citizen, and that he ought to have all the rights 
that belong to a citizen, both civil and political. 
There are not a great many, I admit, but there are 
some. A part of these are timid; they see the 
wrong; they feel the wrong; they deeply deplore 



6s 



the conduct of their own race, but they are afraid 
to speak out, to ^ive public expression to their sen- 
timents. They are like Nicodemus of old, who 
could say to Jesus, Thou art a teacher come from 
God, for no man can do the miracles that thou dost 
except God be with him," and yet who came to him 
by night, for fear of offending public sentiment. 
There are in the Southland to-day men who feel to- 
wards the brother in black, just as Nicodemus felt 
towards Christ, — who feel kindly towards him, who 
have faith in him, who believe that he is entitled to 
better treatment, but who are kept from speaking 
for fear of social ostracism and personal violence. 
Bishop Dudley of Kentucky, some years ago, wrote 
an article entitled, The Silent South," if I re- 
member cprrectly, the design of which was to show 
that in the South itself, there were those who did 
not approve of the brutal treatment that was accord- 
ed to the Negro. And this sentiment, though at 
present suppressed, is not always going to be 
silent. It is bound to grow, to get stronger and 
stronger as the years go by. I have hope of these 
Nicodemuses in the South; the time is coming, I 
believe, when they will stand out boldly for the 
right. I am encouraged in this by the reflection 
that the man who timidly came to Jesus by night 
afterwards openly spoke up for him before the 
Sanhedrin, and after his crucifixion brought large 
quantities of myrrh and aloes for embalming his 
body. The time came when he was not ashamed 



66 



or afraid to have it known that he believed in 
Jesus as the Christ. These timid ones in the South 
will not always be timid. 

But in addition to these silent sympathizers 
with us in our struggle against caste prejudice, 
there are those who are not silent, who speak out 
their sentiments; who have been crying out and 
are still crying out against these wrongs; who 
have been working and are still working to help 
us in the struggle. Among these may be men- 
tioned Dr. W. Hayes Ward of The Independent, 
a big-brained and big-hearted man, whose noble 
editorials for years have been a source of strength 
and inspiration to us. I know of no man who 
appreciates more fully the nature of the fight 
that we are making, or who more deeply sympa- 
thizes with us than he does. A few years ago he 
delivered a sermon before the American Mission- 
ary Association, which was one of the most manly, 
courageous, and magnificent utterances ever made 
on the Negro problem in this country. It dealt 
especially with the persistent effort on the part of 
the Southern whites to humiliate us, to keep us 
down, and declared in the strongest terms possible, 
undying hostility to all such efforts. It was wor- 
thy of the anointed lips of Garrison himself in his 
best days. It had all the fire, and fervor, and 
majesty, and tone of command of one of the old 
i)rophets sent by God to speak to the sleeping con- 
science of the nation. You, who have been read- 



67 



ing The Independent, within the past few weeks, 
know how fearlessly it has spoken out against the 
outrages in North and South Carolina. And as 
long as W. Hayes Ward is at the helm it will con- 
tinue to speak out in behalf of the down-trodden, 
the oppressed, God has put this man in this cita- 
del of power, at the head of the greatest religious 
weekly in the land, and his guns have always been 
leveled at the enemies of human right, at oppres- 
sion and mob violence; he has always wielded his 
vast powers in the interest of law% and order, and 
good government; in the interest of the poor, 
struggling, much-abused, and ill-treated Negro. 
That paper is making public sentiment, is helping 
to prepare the way for better things. The seed 
which it is sowing will be gathered after many 
days. 

Mention should also be made of Albion W. Tour- 
gee, who has made great sacrifices for us, and 
whose voice and pen have been used unsparingly 
in our behalf. Also of George W. Cable, who has 
found time in the midst of his busy literary labors, 
to utter a word of protest against the barbarism 
of the South, and in the interest of the op- 
pressed, — a man who rather than stifle his convic- 
tions, rather than hold his peace, left the land of 
his birth and came where he would be free to ex- 
press the sentiments of his heart. 

Mention should also be made of such men as 
the Tolberts of South Carolina. You have read 



68 



their history, you know what kind of men they are. 
Braver, truer men are not to be found anywhere. 
In an article published in the issue of The Inde- 
pendent, November 25th, by R. R. Tolbert, who is 
Chairman of the Republican State Committee, 
and at the recent election, was the Republican 
candidate for Congress, in the district which in- 
c'udes Greenwood County and the town of Phxoe- 
nix, the following statement will be found. 
"Twenty-five years ago the State of South Caro- 
lina achieved an unenviable prominence for its 
race riots; the white man being as usual the ag- 
gressor, and the black man the aggrieved. The 
only whites who then shared the sufferings of the 
Negroes belonged to the carpet-bag class, — men 
who had come into the State as temporary sojourn- 
ers, worked their way into politics and organized, 
or tried to organize, the Negro vote against the 
Bourbon Democracy. Within three weeks that 
reign of terror has been revived, with my kins- 
men and myself as its most conspicuous victims, 
although my father was an officer in the Confed- 
erate army, and my grandfather and great-grand- 
father have lived on the same soil where I have 
expected to rear my children. Our crime consists, 
^•not in entering the State as strangers, and usurp- 
ing its political control, but in venturing to have 
partisan ties of our own, and to uphold the right 
of all citizens, white or black, under the constitu- 
tion, to cast a free vote, and to have it counted/' 



69 



In describing the bloody affair at Phoenix, dur- 
ing which his brother Tom was shot and mortally 
wounded, he says, In the heat of the fight, Ether- 
idge was killed, and the Negroes who had been 
helping my brother were disabled by wounds, and 
Tom himself fell with one charge of buckshot in 
his neck, another in his left side, and a third 
in his left arm. In spite of his sufferings, he strug- 
gled to his feet and turned upon the crowd, saying: 
I have not a friend left -at my back. You have 
shot me nearly to death, but you have not changed 
my politics one iota." What a magnificent exhib- 
ition of courage, of manhood was that. Talk about 
the three hundred who fell at Thermopylae — there 
isn't any thing finer than that in all history. In 
the very face of death, shrieking in the ears of his 
murderers his undying allegiance to what he felt 
to be right, — I have not a friend left at my back. 
You have shot me nearly to death, but you haven't 
changed my politics one iota." And what was 
his politics? The assertion of the right of all cit- 
izens, white or black, under the Constitution, to 
cast a free vote, and to have it counted. Was that 
a mere empty sentiment with him? Do men ex- 
pose themselves to danger, to hardships, yea, to 
death itself, for a mere empty sentiment? 

I am encouraged, I say; I see the promise of bet- 
ter things in store for us, in the fact that, in this 
great Northland, there are men like W. Hayes Ward, 
Albion W. Tourgee, George W. Cable; and in the 



70 



Southland men like the Tolberts of South Carolina. 
These men will pass from the stage of action; they 
are already passing, the course of some of them is 
already nearly run, but others will come up to take 
their places. This type of men will never be want- 
ing. We are not going to be left to fight our bat- 
tles alone. The press may remain hostile; a cow- 
ardly pulpit may continue to be silent; a hundred 
thousand ministers of the gospel may continue to 
put padlocks upon their cowardly lips, in obedience 
to the demand of a Negro-hating public sentiment, 
but God will raise up friends for us all the same. 
In the great struggle against physical bondage, 
years ago, how he touched the heart and consci- 
ence of one and anothor, here and there: and how 
they came up from quarters where we least ex- 
pected. Garrison heard a voice, and Phillips heard 
a voice, and Sumner heard a voice, and Whittier 
heard a voice, and Gerritt Smith, and Parker Pills- 
bury, and Theodore D. Weld, and Lydia Maria 
Child, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and a host of 
others, heard a voice, and were not disobedient to 
the heavenly call. And in this struggle, hearts 
will also be touched, and a voice will also be 
heard, and will not be heard in vain. 

I have been speaking now about forty minutes, 
and do not think I ought to detain you longer. 
I have not as yet, however, said all that is in my 
heart. There are a few things more that I would 
like to say, and which I will take the opportu- 



71 



nity of saying on next Sabbath. The subject is a 
large one, and cannot be disposed of in one or two 
discourses. The very interest which you have 
been manifesting in what T have been endeavor- 
ing to say, on these successive Sabbaths, has been 
to me one of the most promising signs of a 
brighter future: for I am sure it is not the speaker 
who has drawn you, but your interest in the matter 
under discussion. 



Sermon IV. 



God, and Prayer as Factors in the Struggle. 

"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall 
strengthen thine heart.*' — Psalm 27:14. 



IN my discourse on last Sabbath I pointed out 
five reasons why I was hopeful of a brighter 
future for us in this land: namely, — the growth of 
manhood in the Negro, — the growing sense in him 
of what he is entitled to, and his determination to 
stand up for his rights; the fact that he is making 
progress in wealth and education; the certainty 
that right is ultimately to triumph; the presence of 
the religion of Jesus Christ in this land, and its pow- 
er to conquer all prejudices, to break down all walls 
of separation, and to weld together into one great 
brotherhood men of all races; and the fact, that 
both in the North and in the South there are white 
men and women, who do not believe in the treat- 
ment which is accorded to us, and who are in sym- 
pathy with us in the fight which we are making. 

There are two other grounds of hope to which 
I desire to direct attention this morning, in clos- 
ing, and they are the ones pointed out in the words 



73 



of our text, — Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, 
and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait I say on 
the Lord." In the Revised Version, it reads, — 

Wait on the Lord: be strong, and let thine heart 
take courage; yea, wait thou on the Lord." 

The (i) ground of hope to which our attention is 
here directed is in the fact that God is. The being 
of God is asserted. There is a God, the Psalmist 
says. He calls him Jehovah, the God of Abraham, 
of Isaac, and of Jacob; the God to whom Moses 
referred when he said to the children of Israel, 
with the Red Sea before them, and the advancing 
hosts of the Egyptians behind them, ''Stand still 
and see the salvation of the Lord." Yes God is. 
This universe is not the result of blind, uncon- 
scious forces; back of all that we see is a great in- 
telligence. That intelligence we call God; that is 
the great Being to whom the Psalmist here refers, 
to whom he directs attention. God! how important, 
is the thought. Let us get hold of it: let the idea 
sink deep into our hearts. It will help us to 
weather the storms that are before us, and nerve 
us for the conflicts that await us in our efforts to # 
rise, and in our struggles for recognition against a 
bitter, Negro-hating spirit of caste. It was this 
thought, — the thought of God, — that brought hope 
back to the almost despairing soul of Frederick 
Douglass, many years ago, during one of the dark- 
est periods of the anti-slavery struggle. You re- 
member the story. It w^as at a great meeting: Mr. 



74 



Douglass was speaking in the most despairing tone. 
Everything was against us, apparently: there was 
hardly a ray of light to illumine the darkness as 
he looked out into the future. He was going on in 
this dismal strain, when he was interrupted by 
Sojourner Truth, who said, Is God dead, Fred- 
erick?" That shot a ray of light into his soul, and 
revived his drooping spirits. Godl'it IS impossi- 
ble to project that great thought into the mind of 
man, in any emergency or crisis in his life, without 
bracing him up, without giving him somiCthing to 
lean upon. It was the prop that Sojourner Truth 
laid hold upon, and that sustained her during all 
that long and painful and discouraging struggle 
through which she passed in the death-grapple 
with slavery. And it v/ill sustain us, if we will 
lay hold of it, in the equally momentous struggle 
through which w^e are passing. 

Higher than man, than all mundane influences, 
than principalities, and powers, and might, and 
dominion, than even the mightiest names of earth, 
is a great Being, without beginning of days, or end 
of years, who knows all things, w^ho has all power, 
and who is infinite in justice. This great Being is 
on the throne of the universe; he holds the scepter 
of universal empire. Because God reigns, there is 
hope for the oppressed, for the down-trodden, for 
all upon whose necks the iron heel of oppression 
rests. . There need be no fear as to the ultimate 
result, as to the final issue. Hence the language 



75 



of the Psalmist, The Lord reigneth." The very 
thought thrills him, and he calls upon the whole 
earth to rejoice. "The Lord reigneth; let the 
earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad. 
Clouds and darkness are around about him: right- 
eousness and judgment are the foundation of his 
throne." In that fact he sees ultimately the 
righting of all wrongs, the breaking of all yokes, 
and the oppressed going free. If the Devil was on 
the throne of the universe, there would be no such 
ground of rejoicing; no such hope could possibly 
exist. But he is not on the throne. It is true he 
is called the "God of this world," and at times 
would seem to be all powerful in it, tut it is only 
apparent. There is but one supreme power in the 
universe; and to that power one day every knee 
is to bow, and every tongue confess. There has 
been no abdication on the part of God. Because 
wrong goes on, it doesn't mean that everything 
has been turned over to the evil one; that wrongs 
are never to be righted. No, there is a Just One, 
who never slumbers nor sleeps, and who is not in- 
different to what is going on. He will one day 

make requisition for blood." Isaiah tells us 
that "righteousness is the girdle of his loins, and 
faithfulness the girdle of his reins." 

The thought in the mind of the Psalmist, as ex- 
pressed in the words of the text, is, — Keep that 
great Being in mind; don't lose sight of him, — 
of the fact that he is, and what he is. And the 



76 



promise is, " He shall strengthen thine heart/' 
he will hold you up, will keep you from becoming 
utterly cast down; will put new life and energy 
and hope in you; will bring you cut more than con- 
queror. Isaiah expresses the same thought in the 
fortieth chapter of his prophecy. Hast thou not 
known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting 
God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the 
earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no 
searching of his understanding. He giveth power 
to the faint; and to themthat have no might he 
increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint 
and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 
but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their 
strength; they shall mount up with wings as 
eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they 
shall walk, and not faint." 

Take away this idea of God; banish the thought 
of such a being, and the outlook would, indeed, be 
dismal. But it cannot be done: everywhere it 
meets us. In external nature we see traces of his 
footsteps. ''The heavens declare his glory, and 
the firmament sheweth his handiwork," and in the 
inner world, in the deeper recesses of our own 
natures, we see in the still small voice of con- 
spience a witness to his existence. Yes, God is, 
and because he is, there is hope for the oppressed 
Negro in this land. The Lord of all the earth will 
see that right is done. 



77 



* 'Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record 
One death grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the 
Word; 

Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne, — 
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim un- 
known, 

Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his 
own." 

(2). The ground of hope, — understanding by the 
expression, Wait on the Lord," the formal pre- 
sentation of our case to him with a view to his 
interposition, — is to be found in the efficacy of 
prayer. Prayer is a powder. It is a mighty powder. 
It is one of the mightiest forces in the universe. 
It is Tennyson who says, — 

"More things are wrought by prayer 
Than this world dreams of." 

And a greater than Tennyson has said, "In noth- 
ing be anxious; but in everything, by prayer and 
supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests 
be made known unto God. And the peace of God, 
which passeth all understanding, shall guard your 
hearts and your thoughts in Jesus Christ." The 
Bible is full of illustrations of the power of prayer. 
When God appeared unto Moses in the burning 
bush, he said to him, "I have surely seen the afflic- 
tions of my people w^hich are in Egypt, and have 
heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters." 
What was that cry ? It was the cry to high heaven 
that went up from his suffering people. And God 
says, "I have heard their cry, and am come down 



78 



to deliver them." In the time of Hezeldah, Sen- 
nacherib, king of Assyria, we are told, sent Rab- 
shakeh with a great army to Jerusalem, to besiege 
it. The record is, ''Then Rabshakeh stood, and 
cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language and 
spake, saying, Hear ye the word of the great king 
of Assyria. Thus saith the king. Let not Hezekiah 
deceive you; for he shall not be able to deliver you 
out of his hand: neither let Hezekiah make you 
trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely 
deliver us, and this city shall not be given into the 
hand of the king of Assyria. Hearken not unto 
Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make 
your peace with me, and come out to me; and eat 
ye every one of his vine, and ever}^ one of his fig 
tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own 
cistern; until I come and take you away to a land 
like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land 
of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive, and of 
honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken 
not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, say- 
ing, The Lord will deliver us. Hath any of the 
gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of 
the hand of the king of Assyria ? Where are the 
gods of Hamath, and of Arpad ? where are the gods 
df Sepharvain, of Hena, and Ivvah ? have they de- 
livered Samaria out of my hand ? Who are they 
among afl the gods of the countries, that have de- 
livered their country out of my hand, that the 
Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand ?" 



79 



But we are told that Hezekiah went into the .house 
of the Lord and prayed: and what a prayer it was, 
''O Lord, the God of Israel, that sitteth upon the 
cherubim, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all 
the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven 
and earth. Incline thine ear, O Lord, and hear; 
open thine eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the 
words of Sennacherib, wherewith he hath sent him 
to reproach the living God. Of a truth, O Lord, 
the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations 
and their lands, and have cast their gods into the 
fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men's 
hands, wood and stone; therefore they have de- 
stroyed them. Now, therefore, O Lord, our God, 
save thou us, I beseech thee, out of his hand, that 
all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou 
art the Lord God, even thou only." And you re- 
meniber what the result was: the prophet Isaiah 
was instructed to say to the king that his request 
would be granted: — ''Thus saith the Lord, the God 
of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me ag'ainst 
Sennacherib, king of Assyria, I have heard thee." 
So when the angel of the Lord appeared to Zacha- 
rias, the declaration was, "Fear not, Zacharias: 
because thy supplication is heard, and thy wife, 
Elizabeth, shall bear thee a son." And did not 
Jesus himself say, *'Ask, and it shall be given unto 
you ?" And in James v: 17, 18, is it not recorded: — 
Elijah was a man of like passions with us, and 
he prayed fervently that it might not rain: and 



8o 



it rained not on the earth for three years and six 
months. And he prayed again; and the heavens 
gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit." 

There is nothing clearer in the Word of God than 
the fact that there is power in prayer, that, through 
it, effects may be produced, that definite results may 
be accomplished. This power may be made to play 
an important part in the great struggle through 
which we are passing in this country. It played a 
most important part, I believe, in the struggle out 
of bondage into freedom. We speak of the labors 
of Garrison and Sumner and Phillips, and the whole 
host of anti-sJavery agitators; we speak of the 
Emancipation Proclamation, and of the clash of 
arms, as agents in bringing about the final result: 
and they were most important agents, — too much 
cannot be said in praise of all that was done, of the 
magnificent fight that was made by our soldiers in 
the face of rebel bullets, and by the reformers on 
the l^loodless fields of thought and sentiment, — of 
the moral heroism and physical courage that were 
displayed. But the poor slave himself, I believe, 
had a part in that struggle second to none; it was 
the part which he played on his knees. In the rude 
cabins of the South, in lonely places, in the seclu- 
sion of the forest, in the darkness of the night, the 
voice of the slave was heard in piteous appeals to 
heaven. When they were hoeing in the cotton 
field, when the crack of the overseer's whip was 
sounding' in their ears, when their backs w^ere 



8i 



smarting tinder the lash of the hard taskmaster, 
when they stood upon the auction block, when 
families were broken up, — the father going in one 
direction, the mother in another, and the children 
in still another, — there went up from their bleed- 
ing hearts the cry to heaven, How long, O Lord, 
how long?" Every day, every night, almost every 
hour in every day, the cry of iheir bleeding hearts 
was poured into the ear of heaven. And I believe, 
as mighty as were the other influences, there was 
none more potential than this. Prayer was their 
only weapon at that time, and how mightily did 
they wield it. And we know with what result. 
The answer came at last, and they went out from 
under the yoke of bondage, free men and free wom- 
en; went out, after wrestling earnestly in prayer 
with God for deliverance. The God, who said to 
Moses, I have seen the affliction of my people in 
Egypt, and have heard their cry, and am comedown 
to deliver them, came down in answer to the prayers 
that went up from the rude cabins of the South, 
from the cane-brakes and the rice fields, and the 
cotton patches, and brought deliverance. And this 
same powder is available to-day. Lawless ruffians 
may keep the Negro away from the polls by shot- 
guns; and by unrighteous laws and intimidation 
may shut himi out of first-class cars, but there is 
no power by which all the combined forces of evil 
in the vSouth can keep him from approaching the 
throne of grace. Here is one thing, thank God, 



82 



that this Negro-hating spirit cannot do, — it cannot 
prevent him from praying. What is prayer? 

•''Prayer is the soul's sincere desire. 

Uttered or unexpressed;. 
The motion of a hidden fire, 

That trembles in the breast. 

Prayer is the burden of a sigh, 

The falling of a tear, 
The upward glancing of an eye. 

When none but God is near." 

Thank God, I say^ this lawless, murderous, Ne- 
gro-hating spirit that is running riot in the Souths 
that unblushingly flaunts its shame in the face of 
the civilized world, while it may murder Negroes, 
and despoil them of their civil and political rights, 
cannot prevent them from lifting their eyes to 
heaven, or breathing a prayer: nor can it shut the 
ears of heaven to their cries. It may shut the ears 
of a cowardly pulpit, and a prejudiced church, but 
there its power stops. It cannot block the way of 
approach to the Holy of Holies. God has opened 
the way, and no man can shut it: all the powers 
of darkness cannot do it. Into that august pres- 
ence the Negro may come, black though he may 
be, ignorant though he may be, poor though he 
may be, w^ith the same assurance of acceptance as 
the whitest, the most cultivated, the most wealthy. 

What use shall we make of this power ? Shall we 
allow it to remain dormant, unused ? Shall we not 
avail ourselves of this privilege ? Shall we not 



^3 



beg-in, in earnest, to ask God to take a hand in this 
struggle in which we are engaged ? It is a sug- 
gestion that is well worthy of our most serious 
consideration. In addition to what we are already 
doing, we should add this power of prayer; should 
make our troubles more a subject of prayer than 
we do. Some seven years ago this thought was 
brought to our attention, as some of you will re- 
member. ..The idea originated, I believe, with 
Peter H. Clark, and after consultation, an address 
was issued '*To the Colored People of the United 
States and Their Friends," calling upon them to 
set apart a day for special prayer. After setting 
forth the sad condition of our people, the unjust 
discriminations against us, the brutal manner in 
which we are treated in the South, and the seem- 
ing inability or indisposition of those in authority 
to protect us, it closes in these words: To whom, 
then, can we turn, save to the Lord God; to him 
who has the power to enlighten and soften men's 
hearts; to him, who brought Israel out of bondage 
with many signs and wonders; to him, who re- 
cently in the history of our country caused the 
wrath of man to praise him, and forced from the 
unwilling hand of Abraham Lincoln the Emanci- 
pation Proclamation. Let us turn to him: — 

We therefore request you to set aside the thirty- 
first day of May next as a day of humiliation, fast- 
ing, and prayer. Let the more devout fast faith- 
fully. Let all pray. Let the farmer leave his 



84 



plough, the mechanic his bench, the business man 
his shop, let the schoolmaster secure for himself 
and pupils a vacation, let those employed as house- 
hold servants get leave of absence. 

Let us meet in our places of worship, and there, 
led by our ministers, devoutly pray to Almighty 
God: First, That if it is our fault that the hearts of 
our fellow countrymen are so cruelly turned against 
us. He will show us the evil, and give us the wis- 
dom to remove it. Second: That our wTiite fellow 
citizens may be made to see that the only security 
for the continuance of Republican institutions is 
found in the observance of law by all. however 
powerful, and by the extension of its protection 
to all, however weak; that he will make them see 
that in permitting these lynchings they are sow- 
ing .a v/ind which will grow a whirlwind in the 
time of their children. 

Finally, that they will remember our lately en- 
slaved condition, that they will not forget our 
centuries of toil without requital upon the fields 
of their fathers, and that instead of visiting us 
with proscription and murder, they will be patient 
with our short-comings and encourage us to rise 
to that level of intelligence and virtue which marks 
the character of a good citizen." 

This address was signed by Peter H. Clark, Fred- 
erick Douglass, Bishops Daniel A. Payne, Benjamin 
T. Tanner, and A. W. Wayman, Booker T. Wash- 
ington, J. C. Price, Albion W. Tourgee, T. Thomas 



S5 

Fortune, W. S. Scarborough, Frances E. Harper, 
George T. Downing, John M. Langston, and many 
other representative men and women. It was 
printed, I believe, in all of the colored newspapers 
throughout the country, and was very generally 
observed. Hundreds and thousands of our people 
met in their respective places of worship, and gave 
themselves up to prayer. It attracted very wide 
attention: it was noticed in many of the leading 
journals of the country. In an editorial in the 
New York Evangelist of June 2nd, the editor, in 
commenting upon it, said, ^^The fact that the col- 
ored people of the United States spent Tuesday of 
this week as a day of fasting and prayer to Al- 
mighty God, that he would deliver their race from 
persecution and injustice, and grant them the free 
enjoyment of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness 
and full protection in their persons, homes, and in 
the exercise of all legal rights and privileges in 
every part of the American Union, is one that may 
well give Christians pause. It is a solemn thing 
when seven millions of souls, however poor and 
humble they may be, carry their appeal from man's 
injustice to the bar of the Almighty. It is a seri- 
ous matter for a nation when any body of people, 
however few, betake themselves not to revolt, but 
to prayer." 

This is a line of attack upon our enemies that we 
cannot afEord to lose sight of. I do most earnestly 
wish, therefore, that the suggestion which was 



86 



made in the address which was issued nearly seven 
years ago might be revived. And, that in addition 
to the setting apart a day annually for prayer in 
our churches, all believers might be urged to bring 
the matter to the attention of God, also in their 
private devotions. Praying onl}^ once a year won't 
do; praying in public and by the ministers only 
won't do; there must be constant prayer, every day, 
and by all of God's people. In the church, in our 
Endeavor meetings, in our Sabbath school gather- 
ings, at the family altar, and in the secret cham- 
ber, on week days and Sabbath days, by clergy 
and laity, — the whole religious strength of the 
race ought to be brought to bear upon the sub- 
ject, the cry that goes up to heaven ought to be 
the cry of a united people, of all who believe in 
God and in the power of prayer. 

What are we to pray for ? For self-effacement, 
political or otherwise? No. For a cowardly and 
unmanly spirit of submission to outrage, without 
entering a protest? No. For quiet acquiescence in 
the desire to keep us poor and ignorant, mere 
hewers of wood and drawers of water, to make 
of us a mere servile race? No, emphatically no* 
What are we to pray for, then ? (i). That God 
would help us by His grace to be true men and 
women; that He would put deep down into our 
souls a divine unrest, a holy ambition to be some- 
thing, and to make something of ourselves; that 
He would kindle in our heart of hearts a desire 



87 



for the things that are true, and just, and pure, and 
lovely, and of good report; that he would help us 
all to come in the unity of the faith and of the 
knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, 
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness 
of Christ. What we need is development along 
every line that makes for righteousness, for a bet- 
ter, purer, nobler manhood and womanhood. It is 
our duty to pray to God to help us, to put his great, 
strong arm under us while we struggle up the steep 
and difficult ascent 

"on stepping stones 
Of our dead selves to higher things." 

We have faults, of course, and very serious ones: 
this no one has ever denied. It would be strange 
if we had not, after tw^o hundred and fifty years 
of slavery, an institution w^hich attached no im- 
portance whatever to virtue, and which ignored 
entirely the family idea. The very purpose of 
slavery was to make the Negro a mere beast of 
burden, to degrade him to the level of the brute. 
That anything was left in him, upon which to rear 
the superstructure of a self-respecting manhood 
and womanhood, is the marvel. The white race it- 
self is not free from faults. It has had more than a 
thousand years of culture and civilization behind 
it, and yet it has faults, and very serious ones. If 
I were disposed to draw an indictment against it, I 
think I could draw a very strong one, one that 
would not be very flattering to its pride. I think 



sg 

the faults of the Xegro. measured by the divine 
standard, are not a whit worse than those of the 
whites. In many respects their sins are the same. 
The XegTo is said to be licentious; well, so are the 
whites. Are all white men paragons of virtue? 
Where did all the mulattoes in the South come 
from ? Were the old masters forced by their black 
slaves to part with their virtue, or was the reverse 
true ? Were the slaves the aggressors, or the mas- 
ters ? And to-day, the South, that holds up its 
hands in holy horror at the thought of miscegena- 
tion, thinks nothing of the illicit intercourse be- 
tween white men and colored women. In the last 
Constitutional Convention of South Carolina, Sec- 
tion 34 of the new Constitution reads as follows: 
''The marriage of a white person with a Xegro or 
with a mulatto, or person who shall have one- 
eighth or more of Xegro blood, shall be unlawful 
and void." To this section, the Hon. Robert Smalls 
proposed an amendment, adding after the word 
*'void," in the second line, the words, **and any 
white person who lives and cohabits with a Xegro, 
mulatto, or person who shall hav^ one-eighth or 
more of Xegro blood, shall be disqualified from 
holding any office of emolument or trust in this 
State, and the offspring of any such living or co- 
habiting shall bear the name of the father, and 
shall be entitled to inherit and acquire property 
the same as if they were legitimate." 



89 



In support of this amendment, Mr. Smalls said, 
among other things: '"This entire matter, sir 
has no right in the Constitution of the State. If 
your women are as pure as you stated, and I have 
reason to believe that they are, they can be trusted; 
then why the necessity of this being placed in the 
Constitution ? Can you not trust yourselves ? Is 
it because these wrongs that have been perpe- 
trated here since the formation of the govern- 
ment, make you feel that you cannot be trusted ? 
When I say you, I mean the white men of the entire 
State. I fear not; hence I trust the amendment 
will be adopted. These wrongs have been done, 
and are still being done. They are not done by 
colored men; they are done by white men. If a 
Negro should improperly approach a white woman, 
his body would be hanging on the nearest tree, 
filled with airholes, before daylight next morning, 
and, perhaps, properly so. If the same rule were 
applied on the other side, and white men who in- 
sulted or debauched Negro women were treated 
likewise, this convention would have to be ad- 
journed sine die for lack of a quorum." At this 
point he was called to order by some member on 
the floor, to which he made this reply: ^*The gen- 
tleman called me to order, stating that I had re- 
flected on the convention. I do not wish to reflect 
on the convention, but do say, that if he has clean 
hands, he will keep his seat, because I do mean to 
reflect on any man who objects to the intermar- 



4 



riage of a Negro or a mulatto woman with a white 
man, and is not willing to prohibit the cohabita- 
tion, which is the root and branch of the evil. 
Stop this evil, and there will be no occasion for 
your intermarriage law." And yet, in the face of 
this pointed speech, incredible as it may seem, 
the amendment was defeated: every white man 
voting against it. That proves conclusively, of 
course, that licentiousness is a sin peculiar to the 
Negro, that white men are never guilty of violat- 
ing the Seventh Commandment. 

Another charge made against the Negro is that 
he will steal: that is also a sin peculiar to the race. 
White men never steal, of course. Who are all 
these absconding bank cashiers and other trusted 
officials that I read of from time to time in the 
newspapers ? Are they white men or colored men ? 
Who are the men who adulterate our food prod- 
ucts, who run up prices by forming iniquitous 
combinations of various kinds, and in this way, by 
overcharging, rob the consumers of millions of 
dollars ? Are they white men or colored men ? The 
only difference that I can see between the two races 
is, that the one steals on a small scale^ the other on 
a large scale, — the one takes a few^ dollars, or a few 
dollars' worth, the other takes hundreds and thou- 
sands of dollars. The one kind of stealing is re- 
garded, I know, as more respectable than the other, 
but it is stealing all the samiC. It is safe to con- 
clude that stealing is as much a peculiarity of one 
race as the other. 



91 



One of the things that I have never been able to 
nnderstand, is the lofty, self-complacent air with 
which the white man deals with the faults and im- 
perfections of the Negro. It is always on the as- 
sumption that he is all right, and that the Negro is 
all wrong. It never seems to occur to him that he 
has any faults at all; if he happens to be guilty of 
the same offence, it becomes very miuch less hein- 
ous in him. A violation of the Seventh Command- 
ment makes the Negro a low brute; the white man, 
especially if it happens to be with a woman not 
of his own race, still remains a gentleman, is 
guilty only of a little indiscretion. Who ever 
heard, in all the Southland, with its boasted civil- 
ization, and its hypocritical cant about the fear of 
contamination with an inferior race, of a white 
man being ostracised, shut out from respectable 
society, because of his known intimacy with a 
woman of color ? That kind of thing, according to 
the moral standard in vogue there, is either not 
regarded as a sin, or is winked at. 

The white man seems to be surprised that the 
Negro is not perfect, that he is not a paragon of 
all the virtues; he is constantly abusing him, ap- 
plying all kinds of vile epithets to him, because 
he is no better than he is. Of course, he isn't per- 
fect. It is unreasonable to expect him to be 
perfect. You can't perfect a race in a single gen- 
eration: and nobody knows that better than the 
white man himself; and he of all men ought to 



92 



be the last one to upbraid him. Yes, the Negro 
has faults, but that is no reason why he should b^ 
shot down like a dog, why his rights, civil and 
political, should be trampled in the dust, why he 
should be treated in the brutal and inhuman man- 
ner in which he has been treated in the South. 
You can't make him a better man by that kind of 
treatment. If you think he needs reforming, if 
you want to improve his condition, you have got 
to use other methods, you have got to come to him 
in a different spirit. You can't play the part of 
the bully, the ruffian, and hope to have any influ- 
ence with him for good; you can't put your foot on 
his neck, deny his manhood, treat him as an infe- 
rior, as fit only to be a servant, and hope to have 
him profit by anything that you may say to him. 
He may be helped, he needs help, but you have 
got to clear out of his way the bloody murder- 
ers that throw themselves athwart his pathway, 
you have got to set him a better example. If the 
white man wants to help the Negro to be a better 
man, he must begin to be a better man himself, to 
stop all of his meanness. After that bloody, mur- 
derous, treasonable assault at Wilmington upon 
law and order and the most sacred rights of man, 
it was one of the paragons of the pulpit in that 
city, even the great Doctor Hoge, who said: "Now 
having cast out Negro leaders, let us prove to the 
Negroes that we are really their true friends. 
We must look more closely after their industrial 



93 



education, and by precept and example must teach 
them the gospel of Christ as a religion, not of 
emotion, but of life and conduct." Is there any 
wonder that the Negro is no better than he is with 
such examples before him, with such beautiful ex- 
ponents of Christianity for his guide? Men hold- 
ing themselves up as examples, who the day before 
hSd dyed their hands in their brothers blood. 

But to return from this digression, — in laying 
hold of this mighty instrument of prayer in rela- 
tion to ourselves, let us not forget that we have 
shortcomings, that we are not by any means all 
that we ought to be, and that God can help us to 
overcome the evil that is in us, to break the fet- 
ters of sin that bind us, and make us freemen in- 
deed. The individual who lays hold of God, in 
the struggle upward against his lower nature, is 
sure to succeed. And so with a race; when it be- 
gins reaching out after God in earnest prayer for 
strength to overcome its besetting sins, it is sure 
to prevail. Pray? Yes, let us pray, pray without 
ceasing, that God would not only help us to build 
ourselves up in the great and positive elements 
that go to make up a true manhood and woman- 
hood, but also that he would help us with his own 
great might to resist with all the energy of our 
natures the things which stand in the way of our 
progress, which tend to drag us down. Prayer 
can help us in this struggle, — let us lay hold of it. 
Let us make the most of it But (2) in praying 



94 



we must not stop with self, we must not forget to 
pray also for those who are oppressing us, who 
have their heels upon our necks, and whose cry is 
this is a white man's government. Jesus himself 
says, ^' Pray for them which despitefully use and 
persecute you." An elder in the Mormon church 
was otice reminded that it was his duty to pray 
for his enemies: he said, I do pray for them^I 
pray that God would damn them and send them 
down to hell." That is what we would naturally 
be inclined to do; that is what doubtless many of 
us have often done; but that is not the kind of 
prayer that I am talking about: It never can be 
right for us to pray such a prayer. We are to pray 
that God would have mercy upon them; that he 
would open their blind eyes, that he would show 
them the error of their ways, that he would 
quicken their dead consciences, and soften their 
hard hearts, and lead them to conform to princi- 
ples of right, of justice and humanity. Prayer 
can do wonders in this respect. You remember 
how Esau felt towards Jacob: he hated him with 
perfect hatred, he had murder in his heart: he 
would have killed him had he met him at the time. 
And .even after the lapse of twenty years, the old 
feeling was still there. When he heard of his re- 
turn, he started to meet him with a strong band of 
armed men. Poor Jacob was terrified, and fell 
upon his knees in earnest prayer to God for deliv- 
erance. And Jacob said, O God of my father 



95 



Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord 
which said unto me, Return into thy country, and 
to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee, I 
am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies, and 
of all the truth which thou hast showed to thy 
servant, for with my staff I passed over this Jor- 
dan, and now I am become two bands. Deliver 
me I pray thee from the hand of my brother Esau; 
for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and 
the mother with the children." And with what re- 
sult we all know. The record is, And Jacob lifted 
up his eyes and looked, and behold Esau came, and 
with him four hundred men." And what? There 
was a conflict, and Jacob and his whole family 
were annihilated? Not at all. And Esau ran to 
meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck 
and kissed him, and they wept." All the old 
grudge, the old bitterness and hatred, w^ere taken 
out of him, and love, — beautiful, tender, sympa- 
thetic love, — took its place. A mighty transforma- 
tion was wrought in answer to prayer. The two 
brothers, long estranged, were again brought to- 
gether on terms of friendship: we see them in 
each other's arms, weeping on each other's necks. 
And in this there is a hint for us as a people in our 
relations with the Southern whites. We can do 
in our imperiled condition among them, just what 
Jacob did in the dire emergency which confronted 
him, — betake ourselves to prayer: and the same 
God who interposed to soften the heart of Esau, 
will also interpose in our behalf. 



96 



How are we to pray ? In what spirit are we to 
pray ? We are to pray, — whether for ourselves or 
for the Southern whites, — if we are to succeed, in 
the same humble, earnest, persistent, and loving 
spirit that Jacob did. He came to God in the atti- 
tude of an humble suppliant, in the consciousness 
of his own weakness and imperfections. ''I am 
not worthy of the least of all thy mercies," is the 
opening sentence of his appeal. It was not in the 
spirit of self-righteousness, but of humble peni- 
tence that he came: so must we. 

He came to God in a spirit of deep earnestness. 
His whole soul cried unto God for deliverance from 
his brother Esau. It came up from the great depths 
of his nature, and expressed a need that was most 
keenly felt by him: so it must be with us. 

He came to God in the spirit of resolute deter- 
mination to get what he wanted. All night he 
wrestled with God in prayer. And as the day be- 
gan to dawn, the angel said, *'Let me go, Jacob;" 
but his reply was, ''I will not let thee go till thou 
bless me:" And he did not let him go until he had 
the assurance that he had prevailed; so must we. 
If we are not in earnest, dead in earnest, are not 
animated by a spirit that will not take nay as an 
answer, we cannot, will not succeed. 

He came to God in the spirit of love: there is no 
evidence of any bitterness or hatred on his part 
towards his brother. This was the spirit exhibited 
by the Lord Jesus upon the cross when He prayed, 



97 



^'Father, forgive them," — his murderers, the men 
who had nailed Him to the cross, and who were 
looking on with fiendish delight as his life was 
ebbing away; and the spirit that was exhibited by 
Stephen, while he was being stoned to death, when 
he said: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." 
And this is the spirit in which we must come to 
God. It is not an easy thing to do, I admit. When 
we think of all that we have suffered and are still 
suffering in the South, — of the hundreds and thou- 
sands of our people who have been shot down, mur- 
dered in cold blood, and of all the other villainous 
acts that have been perpetrated upon us, with a 
view of humiliating us, of crushing the manhood 
out of us, it is very difficult not to feel some bit- 
terness, not to be full of hate. But if we are to 
have any influence with God, in this matter, we 
have got to get rid of that feeling. God will not 
answer our prayers, if we come in any such spirit. 
And, therefore, I am especially anxious that this 
element of prayer should enter into the great 
problem which we are seeking to solve in this coun- 
try, for our own sakes, as well as for the sake of the 
whites. It will do them good to have us pray for 
them, and it will do us good to pray for them, since 
it will have the effect, if we enter into it with the 
purpose and determination of succeeding, of root- 
ing out of our hearts that bitterness, which these 
awful outrages which are constantly occurring in 
the South tend to engender. It will be a good 
thing for us as a race, if we can get into an attitude 



98 



of prayer, and keep in that attitude. It will put us 
in touch with God, and keep us in touch with Him. 
And then, the gates of hell will not be able to pre- 
vail against us. 

I believe in the reality of prayer. I believe in 
the powder of prayer. I believe that our cause can 
be helped by prayer. I his doesn't mean that we 
are to do nothing but pray, that we are to fold our 
arms and expect God to fight our battles for us: nor 
does it mean that we are not to stand up for our 
rights, that we are not to agitate, and protest 
against wrong, — the agitation must go on; the de- 
mand which we are making for equal recognition 
of our rights, civil and political, under the Consti- 
tution, must never be relinquished, — what it means 
is, that in the midst of the conflict, while w^e are 
doing all w^e can, while we are seeking to make the 
most of ourselves and of our opportunities, w^e are 
at the same time to lay fast hold of the Almighty, 
to keep ourselves and our wants ever before Him, 
and to look to Him for help in every time of need. 
"Wait on the Lord," is the exhortation; look to Him 
for strength, for courage, for wisdom to guide, to 
direct: in a word, don't attempt to lift this great 
weight that is pressing upon you, and holding you 
down, in this country, in your own strength; don't 
attempt to fight your battles alone, with human in- 
siruments alone; link yourself with God, take Him 
into your confidence; look to Him, rely upon Him. 

With this wonderful thought before us, — the 
thought that in this struggle through which we are 



99 



passing in this country, it is possible to have the 
Almighty associated with us, — together with the 
encouraging signs to which our attention was di» 
rected on last Sabbath, if I am asked, What of the 
night, for the Negro race in this country? I say, 
unhesitatingly, Well. There is a future here for 
us; in this land there are better things in store for 
us. 

"Out of the dark the circling sphere 

Is rounding onward to the light; 
We see not yet the full day here, 

But we do see the paHng light; 

And Hope, that lights her fadeless fires, 
And Faith, that shines, a heavenly will, 

And Love, that courage re-inspires, — 
These stars have been above us still. 

O sentinels whose tread we heard 

Through long hours, when we could not see. 

Pause now ; exchange with cheer the word, — 
The unchanging watchword. Liberty. 

Look backward, how much has been won! 

Look round, how much is yet to win ! 
The watchers of the night are done; 

The watchers of the day begin. 

O Thou, whose mighty patience holds 

The night and day alike in view, 
Thy will our dearest hope enfolds: 

O keep us steadfast, patient, true." 

I have had a three-fold object in preaching these 
sermons: (i.) To let the white people know that 
we are conscious of what our rights are, and that 
we mean to have them. (2.) The hope of helping 



lOO 



to awaken the sleeping conscience of the American 
people to the wrongs that we are suffering. And 
(3) to inspire those of our own people, who may be 
disposed to become despondent, with hope and with 
renewed determination to keep up the struggle. 

I thank you for the patience with which you have 
listened to me during these weeks: and trust that 
all of us realize, as we have never done before, the 
seriousness of the task that is before us. The up- 
lifting of a race, with all the tremendous odds 
against us in this land, is no child's play. It re- 
quires work, hard work; true and brave hearts: — 

•'Men of faith, and not of faction, 
Men of lofty aim in action, 
Strong and stalwart ones; 
Men whom highest hope inspires, 
Men whom purest honor fires, 
Men who trample self beneath them, 
Men who never fail their brothers, 
True, however false are others." 

May God make us such men and women: and to 
this work may we, one and all, dedicate ourselves 
to-day. Whatever we can do, as individuals, as 
families, as churches, to lift ourselves, and this race 
with which we are identified, to higher levels, let 
us do it, and do it with our might. 

"O small beginnings, ye are great and strong, 
Based on a faithful heart and weariless brain." 

And these we must have, — the faithful heart, 
and the weariless brain," if we are to ^'build the 
future fair, and conquer wrong."